Monica and her Dalmatian Therapy Dogs are making an impact relieving stress for passengers at their local airport.
In this 45th episode of Therapy Dog Talk, I chat with Monica and her Dalmatian therapy dogs, Quint and Orio, about their amazing work with the Alliance of Therapy Dogs (ATD) and the P.E.T.S. airport therapy dog program in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Monica’s passion for dogs is evident, as she shares her journey from adopting her first Dalmatian, Doc, to becoming a Tester/Observer for ATD and starting up the airport therapy dog program.
We explore Monica’s experiences with multiple Dalmatian therapy dogs and how she has learned the importance of consistent exposure to pet therapy work for some breeds. Monica talks about her daughter’s goal of becoming a Junior Handler with their youngest dog, Hip Hop, and how they’re working together to achieve that dream.
Throughout our conversation, Monica emphasizes the valuable role of therapy dogs in bringing comfort and stress relief to those they encounter, whether at airports, hospitals, or other settings. She also shares insights on how to become involved in therapy dog work, including shadowing experienced volunteers and observing evaluations.
As we wrap up, Monica discusses her involvement with the Grievance and Ethics committee and the Social Media and Public Relations committee for ATD, highlighting her dedication to making a positive impact in the therapy dog community. By the end of this episode, you’ll be inspired by Monica’s story and motivated to explore the world of therapy dog work with your own furry friend.
In this episode, we discuss …
- Why Monica became a Tester/Observer for Alliance of Therapy Dogs.
- How she founded the Therapy Dog program at Myrtle Beach Airport.
- What she’s learned over the years about volunteering with multiple Dalmatian Therapy Dogs.
Key moments you won’t want to miss:
- [01:24] Monica tells us about her five dogs, including retired Dalmatian therapy dog Doc and 8-month-old puppy Hip Hop.
- [02:59] Monica shares how a trainer introduced her to therapy dog work and later recruited her for the ATD board.
- [05:12] Monica explains what made Doc a good therapy dog and why she decided to retire him early.
- [06:52] Monica’s daughter wants to be a Junior Handler with Hip Hop when she turns 12.
- [07:23] Monica rescued deaf Dalmatian Quint from a puppy mill where he was going to be euthanized.
- [08:14] Monica talks about Hip Hop’s early nervousness around people and how she helped him build confidence.
- [09:54] Monica became a Tester/Observer for ATD after her mentor moved away to keep the organization growing in her area.
- [10:52] Monica recommends shadowing a volunteer or observing a T/O to get started in therapy dog work.
- [12:02] Monica discusses her decision to join the ATD board and the opportunity to make a difference.
- [13:24] As part of the Grievance and Ethics committee, Monica focuses on sharing knowledge and keeping members safe. She also manages ATD’s social media and public relations.
- [18:34] Monica shares her learnings from working with multiple Dalmatian therapy dogs and the importance of consistent exposure to pet therapy work for some breeds.
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:
- Alliance of Therapy Dogs (ATD)
- Jared Wadley and Bree
- P.E.T.S. Ambassadors at Myrtle Beach Airport (MYR)
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