Thursday, April 10, 2008

Therapy Dog in Training


We recently got a Pomeranian. His name is Kirby. He turned 3 months old yesterday (April 9th 2008).
He is SO good. He doesn't whine, complain, yap, or carry on in any way at all. He's friendly to everyone, which is probably because we take him just about everywhere we go! He's started training to become a therapy dog (Therapy Dog International) and will take the place of the 17 year old dog, Bailey, we recently lost 2 weeks ago.

I had taken her to Stonebridge (an over 55 community which also has an Assisted Living section where they house advanced Alzheimers patients.) Bailey was the resident therapy dog there until about a year ago when she became deaf and could no longer her commands. She lived a great, long life and we miss her terribly!
I think she'd be proud of this little guy following in her footsteps.
Kirby will be the resident Therapy dog for the Montgomery Senior Center! His training has started and he's just such an 'eager to please' kinda boy!
If you are unfamiliar with the work of Therapy dogs, I can explain it a bit and you can check out the website for more info! You may have a dog who could change lives!!
Therapy dogs are friendly dogs with excellent behavior that visit hospitals, nursing homes, senior centers etc and bring a bit of joy to the residents and patients who live there. They are excellent dogs to help people without them even knowing it!!
People who have had strokes reach out to touch/pat the dogs making strides where they didn't THINK they could!
There was a man who had a stroke and hadn't spoken in 3 months but when he saw my dog (Bailey) he said "Well hello there little dog!" . The nurse just about fainted because this man hadn't said a word since his stroke and the dog made it effortless for him.
Kids recovering from trauma and childhood diseases brighten up when the therapy dogs come in the room! Older people in nursing homes LOVE when we bring in the dogs. They always reminisce about a dog they had 'way back when' and how wonderful the dog was and how "this dog reminds me of....."
It's an excellent, excellent therapy for memory, motor skills and just plain morale. We are excited that Kirby is so compatible with the training so far and hope that he continues on the road he's on! He's gonna be a star!!!

14 comments:

Croppycatter said...

that's so cool Gabi!!!

Haley said...

How awesome that you give back with Therapy Dogs! Very cool.

I'm terribly sorry to hear about your other dog, that is awful. As a owner of a Yellow Lab myself I know you must just be heartbroken to have lost him.

Jenn said...

That is such a cool thing Gabi ....
Sorry to hear about Bailey .... you new doggie is a total cutie though . Thanks for sharing that with us :)

Oh and WOOOHOOOO to 100 posts ! LOL ......

Have a great weekend !
Jenn :)

Laura S. said...

Kirby is just the cutest thing ever!! He is total sweetness.
Bailey will be missed...Caleb was very sad...he loved Bailey.

lauren said...

well i already thought kirby was awesome...but who knew he was going to be a working lad...and for such a GREAT cause! that is AWESOME!

(and what a wonderful thing to be teaching those young human children of yours too...what a mama you are, miss gabs!!!)

bailey would DEFINITELY be very proud of the wholllllle family! :)

scrapwitch said...

merry meet sister ....
awww kirby is adoreable ,and a wonderful addition for your family and the therapy patients too...
thanks so much for dropping by my blog..hope you come back soon...i'd love to do something pagan ,swap related with you ,if your keen that is ...just let me know Gabi...blessed be and merry part

Michon said...

I am soooooo sorry to hear about your dog. My heart goes out to you. On another note though....
What a fantastic thing! I have never heard of that! I am going to look into that!
Thanks for sharing Gabbi!
And Kirby is sooooo cute!

skrpndiva said...

How kewl is that Gabz? You rock g/f.

Jax

Kim - ScrapToMyLu said...

what a wonderful thing to raise your girls around. This sends such a great message about taking care of people. Good for you Gabby.

Nicole said...

What a beautiful dog. I have heard about this somewhere before. I just think it's an amazing tool.

It's so cool that you are so involved with it.

Debbie said...

Sorry about dear Bailey! She did have a good long and happy life. She was a lucky dog indeed to have such a great family because you guys are wonderful!! Sometimes I wish you'd adopt me. ;) Kirby is quite a cutie!! Penny JUST got her therapy dog ID in the mail yesterday! I'm hoping to hook up will someone who knows the ropes for our first visit. We're having real problems still with Anni. Looks like we're taking her to Tufts. That poor mare!! XOX to all!!

Laura S. said...

Just popping in to give you an award...go check it out.

Loreluca said...

AWESOME, GABZ!!! I've seen these dogs a lot at the hospital where I interpret every once in a while. What never occured to me, is that ANYONE could have one of those dogs! Such a shame, Diggy boy is a bit old now for that, I guess...

Dettao said...

what a cool thing to be involved in