#073: Reaching children through stories with Parnita and Leo

by | March 6, 2023 | Therapy Dog Talk

Therapy Dog Talk - Parnita + Leo

Parnita and her Therapy Dog Leo are reaching children a series of Children’s books about Leo.

In this 73rd episode of Therapy Dog Talk, I talk with Parnita Senjit about her wonderful therapy dog, Leo. We explore their incredible volunteer work through The Dog Alliance in Texas and Pets As Therapy in the UK, as well as their unique way of connecting with children through the Lil’ Leo book series.

Parnita shares how she discovered therapy dog work and knew that Leo, with his gentle nature and love for children, would be a perfect fit. They’ve volunteered at various places such as nursing homes, schools, and even psychiatric hospitals, making a difference in the lives of people they visit.

Our conversation also touches on the challenges and rewards of volunteering with a therapy dog, including teaching children to respect a dog’s space and advocating for the dog as a mediator. Parnita offers valuable insights on how to connect with your pet and understand their strengths and weaknesses before pursuing therapy work.

We discuss Parnita’s inspiration for writing the Lil’ Leo book series, which aims to teach empathy and understanding towards pets and reduce pet abandonment rates. The books have been a hit with the children during therapy sessions, as they learn valuable life skills like friendship and empathy.

After listening to this episode, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the joys and challenges of volunteering with a therapy dog, as well as useful tips on preparing your four-legged friend for this rewarding work. Join me for this inspiring conversation with Parnita and Leo – you won’t want to miss it!

In this episode, we discuss …

  • What inspired Parnita to write a children’s series about her dog Leo.
  • How she knows where her dog Leo enjoys volunteering the most.
  • Why it was important for Parnita to teach her son about the responsibilities of pet ownership.

Key moments you won’t want to miss:

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

  • [01:21] Parnita introduces herself and talks about her Lil’ Leo book series, inspired by her therapy dog, Leo.
  • [02:54] Parnita shares how she discovered therapy dogs through The Dog Alliance.
  • [04:22] Parnita discusses getting Leo and recognizing his potential for therapy dog work.
  • [05:24] Parnita and Leo volunteer at schools, nursing homes, and psychiatric hospitals.
  • [06:19] Leo joins Parnita in her art and meditation classes for children.
  • [08:36] I praise Leo’s ability to connect emotionally with the people they visit.
  • [09:50] Parnita stresses the importance of teaching children responsibility when having a pet.
  • [12:55] Parnita talks about teaching children to respect a dog’s space during therapy sessions.
  • [14:32] Parnita highlights Dog Alliance’s online reading program launched during the pandemic.
  • [20:09] Parnita shares her inspiration for writing the Lil’ Leo series in response to rising pet abandonment rates.

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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Therapy Dog Talk is a podcast where I interview a different team each week via Instagram Live. If you enjoyed this episode please find us over at Apple, Google, or Spotify and give us a follow after you leave a review.

Do you know someone who would make a great guest? Be sure to reach out and let me know.

Disclosure: I earn commission for purchases made through links in this post.

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