Bella Trains For A New Job: Therapy Dog, Part I
As the Pombassador for Southern California Pomeranian Rescue, I get to go lots of places and meet lots of people. Ever since I was on the 2011-2012 PetMeds TV Commercial I am recognized everywhere I go, and people want to say hello and pet me. It was at some special events that Mommy noticed people in wheelchairs who could not get up close to me because there was usually a crowd blocking the way, so she started carrying me over to them and asking if they would like to hold me. The big smiles on their faces — and the big smile on my face — put the germ of an idea in Mommy’s brain that maybe I might have what it takes to be a Therapy Dog.
When my Auntie Karen got sick and had to recuperate at a skilled nursing facility, Mommy just knew she needed a special visitor, so she took me to see her. It made Auntie Karen so happy, and I just gave her some kisses and snuggled right down next to her while she and Mommy jabbered endlessly.
My furrend Dr. Dawn Marcus, MD has written a book The Power of Wagging Tails, A Doctor’s Guide to Dog Therapy and Healing. Dr. Dawn has written enough books to fill a library but this one is specifically about therapy dogs and the power to heal that is released when people bond with dogs. Dr. Dawn is also a fellow blogger contributing to PetMeds Blogs under Healthy Pets And Owners.
So what do you have to do to become a Therapy Dog? First, go to the website for Therapy Dogs Inc. and on that page go to the link down the right side of the page for how to become a member. There are four forms that need to be printed up, including the test, and you will need to have a current rabies vaccination certificate and a current negative fecal exam. At the very bottom of the ‘how to become a member’ page you will find the link to Tester/Observers in your area. Schedule your vet visit for a fecal test, get your rabies certificate, gather up your forms for Therapy Dogs, Inc. and call to set your appointment with a qualified Tester/Observer. I am getting started right now!
to be continued…