I am currently teaching a class in Therapy Dog Training at our local vocational and adult education school one evening a week. It is so much fun! Above are my co-assistants. Shelby, on the left, accompanies me to every class. She is extremely reliable. The only reason I don’t say 100% reliable is because no one is perfect. My other sheltie Nikki helped this week too. Shelby demonstrates the exercises and both girls fill the role of “the neutral dog” when we work on distractions.
Our class is held in the school’s animal lab. That’s why there is a bunny in the background. There are lots is small animals: rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, lizards, fish, turtles, and an assortment of birds. They provide quite the distraction for the “student dogs” in class. Shelby and Nikki are not impressed by the menagerie.
The dogs taking this class are a huge golden retriever, a Norwegian elkhound, and a pit bull. All are under three years old so, it is an exciting time. They are all great but I’ve wanted a pit bull for a few years so, I can’t get enough of petting his big head and scratching his ears.
This is a labor of love. When the school asked how much I wanted to make, I said “I don’t care, I would do it for free”. I believe that it’s important to get more dog and handler teams available to visit nursing homes and other care facilities. I know if I lived in one, I would want someone to come visit me with their dog. I even had one lady who thought I was bringing her dogs in to visit her! That is a great reward.