Volunteer pet therapy team Nicole and Eleanor love to share their bond to help brighten the day for others.
In this 42nd episode of Therapy Dog Talk, I spoke with Nicole about her experiences volunteering as a Therapy Dog team in Florida with her 70lb rescue dog Eleanor, what she loves about being registered through Pet Partners, and how she knew Eleanor would enjoy this work.
When Nicole’s friend told her about registering her bulldog as a Therapy Dog through Alliance of Therapy Dogs, she was inspired but didn’t know how to get started and didn’t feel that she had the right dog for volunteer pet therapy at the time. After rescuing Eleanor, she noticed her positive interactions with a variety of people and it occurred to her that she had something special to share with others.
After doing some research, Nicole discovered that Pet Partners stood out to her as an organization that she would like to work with and from there progressed through the training and evaluation that they provide to become a registered pet therapy team. She especially liked that the training is for both humans and dogs as it provided additional opportunities for her to bond with her dog.
If you’re ready to hear about how Nicole and Eleanor volunteer at a local adult daycare facility, let’s dive in:
In this episode, we discuss …
- How Nicole helps Eleanor to connect with people who may be timid around large dogs
- Why a brush is helpful for them to bring on visits.
- What Nicole loves about volunteering through Pet Partners.
Key moments you won’t want to miss:
- [02:16] Nicole shares that she was inspired by her friend who did Therapy Dog work with her bulldog.
- [02:52] How COVID-19 led her to have her nail tech clients come to her house which gave her the opportunity to see how well Eleanor interacted with a variety of people.
- [03:54] Nicole’s discovery of Pet Partners and their process through the training requirements to become a registered volunteer pet therapy team
- [04:19] Each week they volunteer at an adult daycare facility run by Neighborly.
- [04:43] Nicole shares how she felt very supported by Pet Partners when training Eleanor.
- [05:35] Nicole loves spending extra time with Eleanor while seeing the difference that they can make for others.
- [06:06] How a brush can be helpful to break the ice between Eleanor and those who they visit.
- [07:11] Eleanor and her pearls serve as. the most popular conversation starter with those who they visit.
- [07:31] Pet Partners allows teams to visit for 2 hours per day, but Nicole believes that Eleanor could go for longer if allowed because of how much she loves people.
- [07:51] Nicole recommends looking at different volunteer pet therapy organizations to see what speaks to you.
- [08:33] Nicole and Eleanor switch weeks with another team who has a smaller dog.
- [09:23] Pet Partners allows you to search for available opportunities within your zip code as well as allows those seeking pet therapy to reach out to teams in their area. You can also pursue other places you’re interested in.
- [10:50] Eleanor got her name as a unique twist on her rescue name, Ellie.
- [11:13] We discuss how our animal react to us speaking into devices and whether or not they interact.
- [12:27] Nicole’s goal to get Eleanor working with kids and reflections on how she matches energy.
I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I do. Give it a listen and let me know 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.
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