I have two registered therapy dogs
that are also R.E.A.D. dogs. We go
into several local schools and have
children read to the dogs!
Please read below to learn how
special and important these dogs are
to our communities.
Therapy dogs are personal pets, which meet certain requirements of good manners and good health, and pass testing and evaluations:
Suki Su, therapy dog
Therapy dogs must...
Be at least one year of age
Be good around other dogs
Listen to their handlers
Allow strangers to touch them all over
Not jump on people when interacting
Walk on a leash without pulling
Not mind strange noises and smells
Be calm for petting
Not be afraid of people walking unsteadily
Be current on all vaccines required by the local laws
Have a negative fecal test every 12 months
Be clean and well groomed
Any dog of any breed or mix of breeds with these qualifications is a good candidate to be a therapy dog. Then the team of dog and handler should apply to a therapy dog organization.
I belong to
Alliance of Therapy Dogs. TherapyDogs.com The membership process involves the handler/dog team passing the handling portion of the test followed by 3 successful supervised visits in the field. I did this through a local group called F.E.T.C.H. (FRIENDS EAGER TO COME HELP) FetchTherapyDogs.org, which I also belong to. At this point, the handler sends in the membership packet with appropriate fees to the office where upon TDInc. has sole authority in accepting the team for membership into the organization.
Upon acceptance, the newly registered team receives a membership card, a certificate and a heart shaped tag for the dog's collar, to be worn when representing TDInc. The team may only begin visiting after receiving this packet.
Therapy dogs are not considered assistance dogs and
do not have the legal access rights that assistance dogs have.
Fredi, therapy dog
READING EDUCATION ASSISTANCE DOGS (R.E.A.D.)
R.E.A.D. programs improve children's reading and communication skills by employing a powerful method: reading to a dog but not just any dog. R.E.A.D. dogs are registered therapy animals who volunteer with their owner/handers as a team, going to schools, libraries and many other settings as reading companions for children.
Animals are ideal reading companion because they:
help increase relaxation and lower blood pressure
do not judge, laugh or criticize
allow children to proceed at their own pace
are less intimidating than peers
After a handler/dog team become a registered Therapy Dog team they can then apply to be a R.E.A.D. DOG program.
I have 2 registered Therapy dogs that are also R.E.A.D. dogs. We go into several local school and have children read to the dogs!
Foreman loves it when a student reads a story to him!
CRISIS RESPONSE (RESPONSE TO TRAGEDY)
My Therapy dogs and I have gone through training through the Springfield School District to be able to respond to a tragedy that may happen in a school. That may be a death of a student, staff member, or even a parent. We as a team are called into the school to be there to help them through the grief. Children, staff and parents are able to come and pet the dogs and talk openly to the dogs. It is amazing how calming it is when the dogs walk into a building. This also came available through F.E.T.C.H. and the Springfield School District.