Just had to tell you how very much I enjoyed Patricia McConnell’s “Lending a Helping Paw.” What dog person doesn’t love everything this woman has to say? She is certainly on the mark with this article.
I volunteer about 20 hours per week at Rancho Coastal Humane Society in Encinitas, Calif. (which happens to be the first solar-powered humane society in the U.S.). We have a very successful callback program that involves calling and/or emailing every adopter of a dog from our shelter at four to five days, six weeks and three months post-adoption. We give advice on shelter-dog transition and training issues and answer any questions the adopters may have.
I have been doing animal-assisted therapy and activities with my dogs for the past 10 years. When I started, my dogs were registered with Delta Society’s Pet Partners Program. A few years later, we switched registration to Therapy Dogs, Inc. (TDInc.). Founded in 1990, TDInc. is an organization with more than 12,000 members in the United States and its territories, as well as Canada.
Khan was terrified of people, dogs and especially children. But with a lot of patience, love and hard work, he passed a CGC (Canine Good Citizen) test on his second attempt. (He failed his first attempt because he wanted to greet all the strangers in the crowd test.) Then a friend said he might make a good therapy dog—he was sensitive to seniors, and had a slow but deliberate approach to greeting strangers.
As an animal lover and a person who enjoys hiking with my dogs, I found it disturbing to read that contributor Rebecca Wallick allows her dog to run free through the forest; chasing deer. Her article on GPS tracking devices for dogs, (Sept/Oct 2012 issue) was informative, but her final sentence angers me. Her “knowing that if one day, he disappears after a deer, they will be reunited,” because he is wearing a GPS collar. Is this after the dog has injured, maimed or killed the deer, or any other wildlife that catches his eye?
As a volunteer for Dayton Dog Training Club in Moraine, Ohio, I teach advanced obedience and therapy-dog classes. I was pleased to see your recent article, and agree with the author’s observations. Many handlers are called, but few of their dogs are chosen. As part of the therapy-dog training class, I include a couple of field trips, one to the nearby Little Miami River, where the University of Dayton rowing club meets to practice.