Exploring the challenges of Therapy Dog testing after lockdown with Nilda and her Miniature Poodle, Mylo.
In this ninth episode of Therapy Dog Talk, I chat with Nilda and her miniature poodle, Mylo, about their inspiring journey as a therapy dog team in San Francisco. We discuss how they got started, their volunteering experiences, and the challenges they faced after the lockdown.
Nilda shares how she learned about therapy dogs and the process of finding the right organization in San Francisco. Mylo’s socialization and temperament made him a perfect candidate for therapy dog work, as he loves attention and brings joy to everyone he meets.
Together, Nilda and Mylo started volunteering at universities, including San Francisco State University, where they brought comfort to students during finals week. They also had plans to volunteer at hospitals, police stations, firehouses, and airports.
We delve into the challenges they faced during lockdown and the requirement to retest therapy dogs every other year. Unfortunately, Mylo failed his first test, which was an emotional experience for Nilda. However, they found another organization and are now preparing to take the test again.
During our conversation, we highlight the importance of knowing if your dog is truly enjoying the work and being aware that their feelings might change. Nilda shares the story of another dog that initially didn’t pass the test and emphasizes the differences in testing between organizations. She advises those interested in becoming a therapy dog team to prioritize their dog’s well-being and find a suitable organization.
After listening to this episode, you’ll gain valuable insights into the world of therapy dog work, as well as a deeper understanding of the joys and challenges that come with volunteering alongside your furry companion.
In this episode, we discuss …
- The struggle of finding out how to get started as a Therapy Dog and how Instagram helped.
- Why and where she decided to pursue volunteering as a Therapy Dog team with Mylo.
- The importance of knowing if your dog is enjoying the work and being aware that they change.
Key moments you won’t want to miss:
- [01:01] Nilda shares how she found out about therapy dogs and joined an organization in San Francisco.
- [01:59] Mylo’s early training that helped build his social skills and friendly temperament.
- [02:59] Choosing therapy dog work with Mylo because he loves attention and making people happy.
- [04:13] Nilda is motivated to give back and volunteer through therapy dog work.
- [06:22] Nilda and Mylo help comfort students at San Francisco State University during finals week.
- [07:21] Plans to volunteer at places like hospitals, police stations, firehouses, and airports in the future.
- [08:56] Therapy dogs need to be retested every other year; Nilda prepares Mylo for his retest.
- [10:04] Mylo doesn’t pass the test due to barking during the “scary person walk” part.
- [12:29] Importance of making sure your dog is happy while doing therapy dog work.
- [17:39] Advice for future therapy dog teams: focus on your dog’s well-being and find a suitable organization.
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!
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