Whoever said you cant teach an adult Labrador new tricks has not met Tori and her pups Lucy and Burt.

In this 24th episode of Therapy Dog Talk, I chat with Tori Mistick and her two senior Chocolate Labradors, Lucy and Bruce, about their incredible journey of certifying Lucy as a Therapy Dog at age 6. Tori, who runs the blog Wear Wag Repeat, shares her experiences and adventures with her dogs, proving that you can teach an adult dog new tricks.

Tori tells us how not certifying her previous dog Lola as a Therapy Dog inspired her to volunteer with Lucy. We explore Lucy’s amazing temperament, which was evident when she interacted with a child with special needs during a walk. Throughout our conversation, we discuss the certification process with Therapy Dogs International (TDI), and how Tori and Lucy got back into therapy work after the COVID-19 pandemic.

We also touch on the differences between therapy settings, such as visiting college students versus senior citizens, and the importance of finding the right environment for your dog. Tori shares her insights on adjusting to each of her dogs’ strengths and needs, and the valuable lessons she’s learned along the way.

After listening to this episode, you’ll be inspired by Tori and Lucy’s story and gain valuable insights into training and certifying an adult dog for therapy work. Remember, it’s never too late to start volunteering with your furry friend, and there’s always room for growth and new experiences.

In this episode, we discuss …

  • How an encounter with a child let Tori knew Lucy had the right temperament for therapy work.
  • What Tori used as a (not-so-secret now) trick to help Lucy pass her therapy test.
  • Tori’s reminder to enjoy the ride and to remember that there are always opportunities.

Key moments you won’t want to miss:

  • [01:40] Tori shares how not certifying her previous dog Lola inspired her to volunteer with Lucy as a Therapy Dog.
  • [03:30] Lucy’s amazing reaction to a child with special needs during a walk shows her therapy potential.
  • [06:46] We explore the certification process with Therapy Dogs International (TDI) for therapy dogs.
  • [07:41] Tori shares her experience getting back into Therapy Dog work after the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • [09:05] We discuss the differences between visiting college students and senior citizens in therapy settings.
  • [10:42] How being a senior dog affects the therapy environments that are right for Lucy.
  • [12:28] We talk about how Tori adjusts to each of her dogs’ strengths and needs.
  • [15:02] Tori reveals her sneaky trick for passing the TDI test with her adult Labrador Lucy.
  • [18:44] We discuss the usefulness of having a guide of talking points during therapy visits.
  • [22:15] Find the volunteer environment where your dog can excel and make the biggest impact.

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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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.

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