Ask Away Blog: Pixie's Becoming A Therapy Dog!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Pixie's Becoming A Therapy Dog!

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I am so excited to share some exciting news with you - Pixie is becoming a therapy dog with KPETS - a local organization! !! Now before you ask what that is exactly, let me explain. 


First off, a therapy dog is NOT a service dog. A service dog can go anywhere with the owner because they provide a crucial service to the human they serve.  An example of a service dog is a seeing eye dog.  A service dog should never be interrupted or petted when out and about because he is working.  A therapy dog on the other hand only goes where they are invited, usually through a therapy dog program.  A therapy dog can always be petted when they are out and about because that is their job - to provide therapy!  Therapy dogs go to schools, libraries, events, nursing homes, and hospitals.  They interact with people and bring positive energy wherever they go.


For those of you who have met Pixie in person you know that she loves humans.  No matter what size, shape, age, gender, or color you are, Pixie will fall in love with you. So lately I've been thinking what can I do for Pixie that will bring happiness to her life (aside from being super spoiled of course) and then I saw a Facebook post by a friend talking about enrolling her dog as a therapy dog. 


It made me remember a time when my Grandma was living at an independent living community and I brought Pixie in the one day to visit her.  She made me show Pixie to some of the other residents and they got a kick out of how tiny she was.  She was so happy to meet them and I remember how happy the residents looked and how excited Pixie was.  So either way it's a win-win.  I began to pursue signing Pixie up. 
Posing quickly while on the way out, after passing the group evaluation!


I had to attend an orientation to learn more about the program and what is expected.  Then I had to take Pixie to a group evaluation where they deem you "Ready" or "Not Ready" for the program based on how much control you have over your pet and your interactions with your pet and how they handle people.  So the evaluation was in a nursing home and let me just say that Pixie made many friends. 


Pixie did so good, with a little help from Earthborn Holistic EarthBites Chicken Treats from Chewy of course! I actually didn't need to use them most of the time because she was so well behaved.  When training or preparing your dog for something like this remember that it's important to choose a healthy treat.  Earthborn Holistic EarthBites are rich in antioxidants and contain veggies, fruit, and Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids, which benefit Pixie's skin, hair, and immune functions.  There's no grains or gluten and these treats are a fantastic training aid.  They are the perfect size!


I was so nervous going into it and I have no idea why. I think it was fear of the unknown.  I had no idea how the process would work so I didn't have any idea to run through in my head.  Pixie will attend 2 visits in front of evaluators and when given the OK, her paperwork will be sent in and we will get her badge and supplies and we can start signing up for visits.  I am so excited for her!


If you have a dog that just LOVES people like Pixie does, consider signing them up to be a therapy dog.  Just look online for pet therapy programs in your area.


There are so many opportunities for therapy dogs to help people.  Some dogs are used to keep children calm in traumatic scenarios like testifying in court and some are great at rehab facilities to make recovering addicts feel better.  Some dogs are perfect for making weekly visits to nursing homes and some dogs are great company for hospital patients that are in pain or enduring treatments. 








3 comments:

  1. Congrats on him becoming a therapy dog.

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  2. Oh my god, words cannot describe how cute she is...I love her so much. Congrats to both of you, so exciting! I wish I could do this with our pups, but Lily is too old now, daisy is too mean, and Molly is much too hyper and still skittish with all new people =/

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    Replies
    1. Most of mine are just too testy but Pixie is the ideal dog for this. Maybe Stella as well eventually.

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