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Therapy Dog Visit to the YMCA Family Center March 12, 2009

Posted by hollythenewfcom in Therapy Dog Work.
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Holly The Newf with friends at the YMCA Family Center

Holly The Newf with friends at the YMCA Family Center

What a great morning I had at the YMCA Family Center. I was invited on a therapy dog visit to meet a group of preschoolers and babies and their moms. I got to sit in the middle of a huge gym floor. All the kids sat around me and took turns coming up to pet me. Kim told them all about me. They were surprised that I weigh 120 lbs! We had dog safety handouts for them to color. They really liked that. Kim told them about how to meet a new dog, how to approach a dog you don’t know, and how not to pet a stray dog. She also played a game with them where they all pretended a stray dog was approaching them and they stood still like a tree. It was quite fun to see all of them standing perfectly still. Kim’s kids gave each of the preschoolers a special “Holly The Newf Dog Safety Award” certificate to take home. I really like going out on these therapy dog visits with kids. Little people are so much fun to meet and visit with!

Holly The Newf meets new friends Kim Marker and son Noah

Holly The Newf meets new friends Kim Marker and son Noah

Holly The Newf and friends at the YMCA family center. From left to right: Noah, Destiny and her mom Rebecca, Ava and her mom Courtney, Conner and his mom Courtney, and Stewart and his mom Page.

Holly The Newf and friends at the YMCA family center. From left to right: Noah, Destiny and her mom Rebecca, Ava and her mom Courtney, Conner and his mom Courtney, and Stewart and his mom Page.

How to Become a Therapy Dog February 14, 2009

Posted by hollythenewfcom in Therapy Dog Work.
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Holly The Newf and the Tail Waggin Tutors Program

Holly The Newf and the Tail Waggin Tutors Program

I recently received an email from my new friend Roosevelt, a Newfoundland in TN.  He is interested in becoming a therapy dog and was wondering how to get started. I am a therapy dog registered through Therapy Dogs International (TDI). On the TDI Getting Started Page is information on the registration requirements, upcoming tests, and the testing requirements.  I had to take the TDI test which included a temperment evaluation, an evaluation of my behavior around people and other dogs, and the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen Test (CGC).  Each year you must renew your certification by filling out a health form and sending in a check for $30.  My human Kim and I can visit nursing homes, hospitals, and shelters. We developed several programs to tell adults and kids All About Newfoundlands and about responsible Dog Ownership .  One of my favorite programs is the Tail Waggin Tutors where children who are having difficulty learning to read use me as practice and they read out loud to me. There are other therapy dog programs in the United States including the Delta Society, and Angel on a Leash. I have a whole page on my web site devoted to information and resources on therapy dogs. I am always amazed how excited people are to meet me, pet me, and ask questions about me. Being a therapy dog is a great experience and is very worthwhile.