#078: Miranda’s passion for Therapy Dogs in rural Alaska

by | April 10, 2023 | Therapy Dog Talk

Therapy Dog Talk - Miranda + Arya & Mazy

Miranda has many goals and one of them is starting a Therapy Dog program at the rural Alaska Native Hospital.

In this 78th episode of Therapy Dog Talk, I chat with Miranda and her two Brittany Spaniels, Arya and Mazy, about their inspiring work with Indigenous Peoples in rural Alaska. We discuss Miranda’s passion for sharing her therapy dogs and her goal to start a Therapy Dog program at the Alaska Native Hospital.

Miranda shares her journey with Arya and Mazy, from their adoption to becoming certified therapy dogs. We talk about the custom Alaska Native clothing Miranda makes for her dogs, which helps incorporate her culture into their therapy work. We explore the importance of therapy dogs and crisis response dogs in rural Alaska and how they bring comfort and support to Indigenous Peoples.

Throughout the episode, we discuss the challenges and training for bird dogs like Arya and Mazy, as well as their participation in the National Crisis Response Canine Minor program. Miranda shares her involvement with American Brittany Rescue and how her dogs’ high-energy nature surprisingly translates well into therapy work.

We touch on the heartwarming stories of how Miranda’s therapy dogs bring joy to long-term hospital patients and the advice she has for those interested in becoming a therapy dog team. Despite her busy schedule, Miranda works full-time remotely for a rural Alaskan hospital and also runs an in-home dog boarding and doggy daycare business.

After listening to this episode, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the amazing impact therapy dogs like Arya and Mazy have on rural Alaskan communities, and you’ll feel inspired by the dedication and passion that goes into their work.

In this episode, we discuss …

  • How Miranda’s Therapy dogs provide support to remote Alaskan Indigenous Peoples.
  • What she does to incorporate cultural elements into her Therapy Dog work.
  • Why commitment to ongoing training is essential for Therapy Dogs.

Key moments you won’t want to miss:

Note that the timecodes match the video, not the podcast.

  • [01:11] Mazy becomes a certified therapy dog, and Miranda starts paperwork for facility approval.
  • [01:54] Arya’s adoption and journey to becoming a therapy dog.
  • [02:18] Custom Alaska Native clothing made by Miranda for Arya and Mazy, bringing culture into their work.
  • [03:20] The significant role of therapy dogs and crisis response dogs in rural Alaska and Indigenous communities.
  • [04:31] Miranda’s plan to start a therapy dog program at a rural Alaskan hospital.
  • [05:20] Miranda’s weekly volunteer schedule with Arya and plans to help at a military base hospital.
  • [06:33] The unique challenges and training needed for bird dogs like Arya and Mazy in therapy work.
  • [07:35] Custom clothing and cultural connections help Indigenous patients bond with Arya.
  • [08:37] Arya and Mazy’s involvement in the National Crisis Response Canine Minor program and required handler training.
  • [16:26] Heartwarming story of long-term hospital patients eagerly awaiting visits from Miranda’s therapy dogs.

I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I do. Give it a watch or a listen and then let me know in the community which part you found the most helpful!

Mentioned in this episode:

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