|Nancy with Angie as a puppy at 4 months|
Nancy, Guest Services Manager of Morris Animal Inn was on a roll. Her beautiful American Eskimo dog, Bianca, was a naturally well-behaved dog. As a volunteer at St. Hubert’s, Nancy decided Bianca was the perfect candidate to become a pet therapy dog. Pursuing this goal with vigor, they blew through the pet therapy certification program at St. Hubert’s with ease. Once they accomplished their goal, Nancy and Bianca visited nursing homes and hospitals in the area like Morristown Memorial Hospital and Overlook Hospital in Summit. The whole process was extremely rewarding.
Things were going great until her darling Bianca died very suddenly and unexpectedly because of a lesion on her brain. Heartbroken and living in a house that felt empty without Bianca, Nancy and her husband decided the only way to move on, was to bring a new dog into their lives.
Nancy’s next pooch, Angie, is the same breed as Bianca, but has a very different personality. Unlike Bianca who was calm, cool and collected, Angie has a penchant for naughtiness. She often gets into every garbage in the house and terrorizes her cat sisters by eating their food before they can. Her playful and social personality leaves her with boundless energy so she is a regular in our daycare program and at our parties. With her good looks, Angie has become a bit of a poster child for Morris Animal Inn, often appearing on flyers for our events and even on the cover of our brochure!
|Angie at 1 years old|
Nancy wanted to do pet therapy with Angie but she knew it would be harder this time around since Angie was more interested in eating other dog’s poop than listening to her. To get her on the right track, Nancy began training Angie as a puppy at Morris K9 Campus in Randolph, NJ with excellent results.
When a few dedicated animal lovers created their own pet therapy organization called Creature Comfort Pet Therapy in January 2012, Nancy took advantage of their first pet therapy certification class and began training Angie. Angie successfully passed the certification program this March! Yay Angie!
What are the Pet Therapy Requirements?
-Your dog must be at least one years-old.
-Your dog must know basic commands like sit, stay, down, and come. Your dog should not bark out of turn or jump.
-Your dog must love to be petted and enjoy being around people.
-Fido should not frighten or startle easily since they will be around strange objects like wheelchairs, moving beds and oxygen tanks.
-Should get along well with other dogs since your dog may pass other therapy dogs in the hallways of the hospital or nursing home.
If your dog has those qualities, he/she is an excellent candidate for becoming a therapy dog! Find which organization you want to get your dog’s pet therapy certification from and receive an evaluation from them. If the answer is yes, than you are on your way to developing your canine into a pet therapy dog!