Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Meet Therapy Dog, Tuxedo

Therapy dogs bring positive changes by visiting people. They often visit assisted-living centers and hospitals. Many libraries and schools use therapy dogs for their reading programs. Kids love to read to dogs and dogs love to listen!

Tuxedo is a Portuguese water dog, the same breed as the Obama's dog. I never heard of this breed until I met Tuxedo and his handler Melanie.I met Melanie and her mom through a friend who thought that they would be a good fit for my Therapy Dog Heroes book.They turned out to be perfect. Tuxedo was a very friendly and gentle dog. He kept sticking his head in my pocketbook that was on the floor and I couldn't understand why until I realized I had a bag of cough drops that he must have been able to smell. We look some pictures before we headed out to the assisted-living center where Melanie, her mom, and Tuxedo often visited. That's Tuxedo on the cover of the book!

ISBN 978-0-7660-3200-2
We spent an hour at the center visiting with people who anxiously came down the hallway into one of the dining rooms when we told them we were looking for people to be in pictures for a book. There was no lack of participation that's for sure and Tuxedo seemed to enjoy the attention. There was a time when most nursing homes would not allow animals to visit. That has changed, thanks to published research about the benefits of therapy dogs.

If  you have a dog that is calm, gentle, and especially friendly, you might consider training him as a therapy dog. Therapy dogs can be any breed. Before your dog can perform therapy work, he must be properly socialized and trained to receive certification and he should be checked over by a vet to make sure he's in good health.

Here's a picture my daugher's dog who lives with us provides us therapy all the time! He's a shih-poo, a shih-tzu/poodle mix and is often mistaken for a Portuguese water dog puppy.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Linda,
    I enjoyed meeting you at BooksNJ on Sunday. I just finished reading Therapy Dog Heroes, and I LOVED it! You really nailed the whole mindset of a therapy dog team and the climate of therapy dog visits. It's like you were inside my head AND inside my therapy dog, Cupcake's tiny brain, as well. Great book!
    Genevieve Petrillo