What is a Therapy Dog?

In addition to working at Coldwell Banker Island Living, I work as a therapy dog.  I am often asked what a therapy dog does, so I thought I would write a post!

A therapy dog is ‚ÄúDedicated to providing canine-assisted support to those in need in our community‚ÄĚ.¬† I like many other dogs have a special gift.¬†We¬†offer unconditional love and acceptance to all people and we¬†don’t judge or¬†criticize.

Dogs¬†are inherently happy creatures,¬†we take¬†joy in simply being alive and especially enjoying close and loving interaction with humans. Dogs have had ‚Äėjobs‚Äô of all kinds throughout the centuries. But relatively new, in historical terms, is the use of dogs to help relieve stress and reduce emotional distress in the face of many traumatic situations. This work is based on the scientifically proven healing benefits derived from the human-animal bond.

In the past half decade the need for such therapeutic ‚Äėtools‚Äô has grown, and unfortunately there seems to be no sign of a decrease in the future. From the inexorable fact of the aging of our population to a dramatic increase in the number of returning veterans to such horrendous events as 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and school shootings around the nation, the number of people needing emotional support and therapy continues to expand.

In response to this growing need and the dog’s great ability to offer such help, Dogs On Call (DOC) was formed. DOC provides a central point of contact for both volunteer teams (dog and handler) wishing to participate, and agencies and populations in need of such services in Skagit, Island, San Juan, Whatcom, Pierce, and Kitsap Counties. All DOC teams are certified by national certifying organizations such as Delta Society, Therapy Dogs International, and Love on a Leash. DOC interviews and profiles all participating dogs and their handlers. DOC provides information to those who might be interested in the services of our teams, and helps facilitate the implementation of such service needs. DOC works in concert with existing organizations and businesses to provide these services. DOC takes special care to match the right dog team to the right job.

Here are some examples of areas of service for these amazing canines‚Ķ ‚Äė Reading enhancement programs ‚Äė Counseling session support in schools ‚Äė Physical, occupational, and speech therapy support ‚Äė Visits to hospitals including patient rooms, surgical waiting rooms, cancer treatment & rehab areas ‚Äė Home visits for shut-ins and in conjunction with hospice providers ‚Äė Crisis response ‚Äė Emotionally therapeutic support within the criminal justice system ‚Äė Nursing home visitation ‚Äė Rehab center visitation.

In addition to Dogs On Call, Jean and I are one of approximately 100 teams in the country trained to do Animal Assisted Crisis Response.

Animal-Assisted Therapy in Counseling and School Settings

This was sent to me by Deb Hall of Dogs On Call Anacortes, WA

 

ERIC Identifier: ED459404
Publication Date: 2001-10-00

Author: Chandler, Cynthia
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on Counseling and Student Services Greensboro NC.

Animal-Assisted Therapy in Counseling and School Settings.  ERIC/CASS Digest.

Recent research and experience has demonstrated that the use of dogs as “co-therapists” may be of assistance to counselors in counseling with withdrawn and non-communicative counselees.¬† The use of animal-assisted therapy (AAT) and animal-assisted activity (AAA) may be another useful tool, which could be offered in counselor education programs and in school counseling programs.

ANIMAL-ASSISTED THERAPY
The integration of animal-assisted therapy into clinical psychology was first credited in 1962 to the child psychologist, Boris Levinson, with his paper published in Mental Hygiene, “The dog as a ‘co therapist’.‚Ä̬† Levinson discovered he could make significant progress with a disturbed child when Levinson’s dog, Jingles, attended therapy sessions.¬† He went on to find that many children who were withdrawn and uncommunicative would interact positively with the dog (Levinson, 1969).¬† Animal-assisted therapy has a long, but undocumented history, and it has only been in the last half of the twentieth century that research and professional response has been conducted on the use of animals in therapy.

Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) and its related modality, animal-assisted activity (AAA) are both experiencing a rise in popularity and are now being applied in many counseling and school settings across the United States.¬† Cindy Ehlers of Eugene, Oregon took her Husky dog, Bear, to visit with students and others traumatized by the 1998 shootings at Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon and the violence in 1999 at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.¬† Tracy Roberts brings her two Australian Shepherd dogs, Lucy and Dottie, to school to act as teacher’s aides in the fourth and fifth grade classes at the Canterbury Episcopal School in DeSoto, Texas.¬† Lucy and Dottie are reported to be a comfort to the kids and a welcome relief from the stress of school.¬† Dena Carselowey and her Labrador Retriever, Buggs, are “co-therapists” at Minneha Core Knowledge Magnet Elementary School in Wichita, Kansas.¬† Each of these dogs provides unconditional acceptance the moment the student enters the classroom or the counselor’s office.¬† Often the students will come to see the dog and stay to talk to the counselor while they pet and play with the dogs.¬† When animals are used with the school counselor, the students often use the dog as an excuse to go see the counselor.¬† These animals enable the counselor to interact with many more students than would normally be the case.

RATIONALE FOR ANIMAL-ASSISTED THERAPY AND ACTIVITY
The presence of an animal has been found to lower anxiety and motivate participation in therapy (Fine, 2000).¬† The animal’s warm and playful presence can be comforting.¬† AAT is not a style of therapy like Cognitive-Behavioral or Rational-Emotive therapy; however, a therapist can incorporate the animal into whatever professional style of therapy the therapist already enacts.¬† AAT sessions can be integrated into individual or group therapy and with a very wide range of age groups and persons with varying ability.

There are many different types of therapy animals.  The most common are dogs, cats, and horses.  Farm animals can be therapeutic as well as smaller or less common types of animals, such as, rabbits, birds, fish, hamsters, and even llamas.  Each of these animals has specific skills and abilities to contribute to the therapeutic process.

Mental health and educational professionals who engage in AAT should demonstrate knowledge and skill in the following areas: 1) social skill development and obedience training for the pet, 2) therapy or activity skill training for the pet and handler, 3) establishing and maintaining a positive relationship with counseling and educational facility staff, 4) assessing the appropriateness of AAT with a particular client or student, 5) the basics of zoonoses (transmittable diseases) and risk management, 6) establishing and applying counseling or educational goals and interventions, and 7) assessing therapeutic or educational progress.

For the therapy dog, obedience training is a must, most preferably in a group format.¬† A therapy animal must be well behaved and respond to the handler’s commands.¬† A fearful, aggressive, or unresponsive animal is definitely not suitable for this profession.

ANIMAL-ASSISTED COUNSELING
Animal-assisted therapy can be beneficial to the counseling process (Gammonley, et al., 2000).  The presence of the animal can facilitate a trust-building bond between the therapist and client.  The animal relieves some tension and anxiety of therapy and interacting with the animal is entertaining and fun.  Talking to the animal while the therapist listens is easier than talking to the therapist for the more difficult issues.  In addition, animals often help clients focus on an issue as they interact with the animal.  The animal may help the client get in touch with feelings.  Sharing these feelings with or about the animal can initiate the emotional sharing process with the therapist.  For the client, the animal is seen as a friend and ally, thus presenting a safe atmosphere for sharing.  The animal offers nurturance through a presentation of unconditional acceptance and interaction.  The experience of a client interacting with an animal can provide knowledge about boundaries and limit setting by observing and imitating the therapist-animal interactions.

Common mental health treatment goals in AAT are to:


* improve socialization and communication;

* reduce isolation, boredom, and loneliness;

* brighten affect and mood, lessen depression, and/ or provide pleasure and affection;

* improve memory and recall;

* address grieving and loss issues;

* improve self-esteem, be presented with opportunities to succeed and feel important, and improve feelings of self worth;

* improve reality;

* improve cooperation and problem-solving ability;

* improve concentration and attention, and increase engagement;

* decrease manipulative behaviors;

* improve expression of feelings;

* reduce general anxiety;

* reduce abusive behavior;

* Improve an ability to trust


Common mental health treatment interventions in AAT that assist in meeting the goals listed above may include to:


* practice teaching the animal something new;

* engage in play with the animal and other types of appropriate interactions;

* learn about and practice care, grooming and feeding of the animal;

* learn other information about the animal (breed, history, etc.)

* reminisce about the animal or past animals;

* remember and repeat information about the animal to others;

* take the animal for a supervised walk;

* receive and give appropriate affection and acceptance with the animal;

* discuss how animals may feel in certain situations;

* learn gentle ways to handle animals;

* follow a sequence of instructions with the animal;

* observe and discuss the animal’s response to human behavior;

* interpret animal behavior as it happens; and

* generalize animal behavior to human circumstances.


ANIMALS IN THE CLASSROOM
There can be many benefits to integrating AAT and AAA into the classroom in school settings.  Goals for students in school classrooms using AAT and AAA include:


* gaining knowledge about animals;

* learning humane animal care;

* motor and physical skill development through human-animal interactions;

* animal training;

* practicing discipline;

* incorporating an attitude of kindness and compassion;

* learning about nurturance;

* practicing loyalty and responsibility;

* experiencing human-animal bonding;

* learning responsible pet ownership


Animal-assisted therapy may be used to curb violence in the schools.  Animals in the classroom have empirically been proven to enhance humane attitudes toward animals and these more humane attitudes persisted in a one-year follow up (Ascione & Weber, 1999).  This same study showed a generalization from humane attitudes toward animals to human-directed empathy.  Thus, emotional connections made with animals can transfer to more empathic attitudes towards other persons.

CONCLUSION
Animal-assisted therapy and activity are useful modalities that can be easily incorporated into the counseling and school setting.  Animals in counseling sessions and the classroom facilitate an atmosphere of trust, nurturance, and relationship building.  Animals actually help a person to focus on a task because of an interest in interacting with the pet.  The therapy animal is a nonjudgmental companion in the process of learning and development.

 

FOR INFORMATION on how you can get involved with therpay dogs in Anacortes, La Conner, and throughout Skagit County email d.dhall@verizon.net

 

Love On A Leash – Pet Provided Therapy

 

My name is Jingles and I am a therapy pet, one of 600 pets that are members of Love On A Leash. 

The website explains what I do:

 What is pet-provided therapy?

A therapy pet’s primary function is to brighten someone‚Äôs day. The majority of our members are involved in this social side of therapy work. Dogs and their owners visit nursing homes, hospitals and schools to provide emotional support. They put a smile on someone‚Äôs face, make their day a little brighter, or bring back a cherished memory.

Jingles as drawn by Erik.  As a Certified Therapy Dog, Jingles visits both adults and children providing comfort, entertainment and stress relief. The blue is the vest she wears when she is ‚Äúworking‚ÄĚ.

Jingles as drawn my Erik one of her friends. The blue is the vest she wears when she is working.

To become a therapy pet, I had to go to a lot of school.  I had to have basic obedience training, as well as advanced training in working to provide therapy.  I had to pass an exam and then complete an internship which I completed at an assisted living facility in Kirkland, WA.

 I like to spend time with special needs children, the elderly, and I have done hospice work.  Jean and I are also members of Dogs on Call in Anacortes, an organization that uses the resources of therapy pets from different organizations to meet the need of Skagit County, La Conner,  and Anacortes residents.

 Our team, the Jingles and Jean team, are also an Animal Assisted Crisis Response Team. 

I am often asked how we started doing this service work.  

My¬†human “grandma”¬†lives in an assisted living facility.¬†¬†From the time¬†I was a small puppy I visited “grandma”¬†and my¬†“grandma’s” friends.¬†¬† I really like sitting on their laps, and my “grandma” gives me rides in her power wheel chair.¬† I found I could make people happy by cuddling with them, and I liked it too!

Why Jean chose to do this type of service work:

“Olympia, one of¬†my mother’s friends,¬†became especially attached to Jingles.¬† Olympia became very ill but still took great pleasure in Jingles visits. Olympia slipped into a coma the morning of Jingles last visit to her.¬†¬†When we arrived, I was told¬†Olympia¬†had not responded to voice or touch all day.¬†¬†I brought Jingles¬†into the room and¬†told Olympia¬†I was going to put Jingles on her bed and Jingles took her normal position of lying next to Olympia with her chin on Olympia’s chest.¬† Without opening her eyes, Olympia lifted her hand and petted Jingles!¬† Jingles was able to evoke a response and provide comfort.¬† It was a very emotional experience.

Olympia never regained consciousness, never spoke again, and died that night. It was obvious Jingles had a gift which needed to be shared.

Jingles was still a puppy when this happened.¬† She usually¬†acted like any very active puppy running non-stop looking for something to chew or chase, but when placed on someone’s lap she would immediately settle in their lap and let¬†them hold her.¬†

We went through the training to become a Certified Therapy Dog and¬†¬†then we became certified with AACR¬†(Animal Assisted Crisis Response).¬† Jingles continues to work with the elderly, special need children’s, and anyone who just needs a hug.¬†¬†¬†

If you or anyone you know could benefit from a visit from us or another therapy dog team, please email Jingles@ColdwellBAnker.com

snowgoose motoryacht anacortes waTo learn about Jingles work with AACR click here.

Skagit Humane 2nd Chance Program

logofacenewforweb

Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC (JGA) is proud to assist with the launch of the Shelter Animal 2nd Chance program in conjunction with the Humane Society of Skagit Valley (HSSV). The Shelter Animal 2nd Chance program helps dogs and cats of the Humane Society of Skagit Valley who are in need of medical attention to be able to provide them with a second chance to become eligible for adoption.

‚ÄúWe are proud to partner with the Humane Society of Skagit Valley and Shelter Animal 2nd Chance to ensure each animal receives the necessary medical treatment to become adoptable,‚ÄĚ said Jean Groesbeck, owner of Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC, an Anacortes-based real estate firm licensed under Coldwell Banker Bain. ‚ÄúWe are a pet-friendly office and we know the joy a pet brings to our daily lives. We encourage those seeking to adopt a dog or cat to visit the Humane Society of Skagit Valley.‚ÄĚ

Ruby

‚ÄúWe are grateful for our partnership with Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC and its sponsorship of our special needs pets to assist with their adoption,‚ÄĚ said Janine Ceja, Director, Humane Society of Skagit Valley. ‚ÄúNearly 2,500 animals come through our doors annually. As a nonprofit, we rely on donations to provide our animals with the treatment they need and are so appreciative of those who donate or volunteer their time with us.‚ÄĚ

Currently JGA and HSSV are working to raise money for Ruby, an adult female Australian Shepherd dog that was brought into the shelter needing orthopedic surgery, which is currently seeking financial assistance for her operation and rehabilitation. To make a donation in support of the Shelter Animal 2nd Chance fund for Ruby please do so through the go fund me page.

You can also make an in person or mail donation to Skagit Humane : 18841 Kelleher Road Burlington, WA 98233. Please make sure to write in the memo Ruby so that your donation goes directly to her. You can also stop by our office: 809 7th St in Anacortes to drop off your donations.

On behalf of the Skagit Humane Society and Jean Groesbeck & Associates, we would like to thank you for taking the time to read about this important cause.

Dogs On Call

As many of you know, my name is Jingles!¬† Many of you may not know that I am a certified therapy dog specializing in the areas of elder care and crisis response.¬† I am a part of¬†the Dogs On Call organization along with many other furry friends.¬† Dogs On Call is an all volunteer organization of certified therapy dog teams serving Skagit County.¬† DOC believes in educating people about the benefits of canine-assisted activities and canine-assisted therapies.¬† They strive to train, test, certify, and mentor dog owners who are interested in using their pets in these activities or therapies. They hope to facilitate the placement of DOC teams where their services are wanted including elder care facilities, schools, hospitals and more.¬† We are always interested in new dog teams and¬†facilities that would enjoy¬†visits from my fellow dog “therapists” and I!¬† Visit their website for more information at http://www.wix.com/dogsoncall/dogsoncall

Need an idea for YOUR New Year's Resolution?

New Year’s Eve has always been a time for looking back to the past, and more importantly, forward to the coming year. It’s a time to reflect on the changes we want (or need) to make and resolve to follow through on those changes.

New Years Resolution #1) Spend More Time with Family & Friends
Recent polls conducted by General Nutrition Centers, Quicken, and others shows that more than 50% of Americans vow to appreciate loved ones and spend more time with family and friends this year.¬† Want to buy a bigger house so you can entertain more?¬† Call Coldwell Banker Island Living because it’s what we do best!¬† 360-293-4511

 New Years Resolution #2) Fit in Fitness
The evidence is in for fitness. Regular exercise has been associated with more health benefits than anything else known to man. Studies show that it reduces the risk of some cancers, increases longevity, helps achieve and maintain weight loss, enhances mood, lowers blood pressure, and even improves arthritis. In short, exercise keeps you healthy and makes you look and feel better.

New Years Resolution #3)
Tame the Bulge
Fifty-five percent of adults in America are overweight, so it is not surprising to find that weight loss is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions. Setting reasonable goals and staying focused are the two most important factors in sticking with a weight loss program, and the key to success for those millions of Americans who made a New Year’s commitment to shed extra pounds.

New Years Resolution #4) Quit Smoking
If you have resolved to make this the year that you stamp out your smoking habit, over-the-counter availability of nicotine replacement therapy now provides easier access to proven quit-smoking aids. Even if you’ve tried to quit before and failed, don’t let it get you down. On average, smokers try about four times before they quit for good. Start enjoying the rest of your smoke-free life!

New Years Resolution #5) Enjoy Life More
Given the hectic, stressful lifestyles of millions of Americans, it is no wonder that “enjoying life more” has become a popular resolution in recent years.¬† Sell your house?¬† Call Coldwell Banker Island Living because it’s what we do best.

New Years Resolution #6) Quit Drinking
While many people use the New Year as an incentive to finally stop drinking, most are not equipped to make such a drastic lifestyle change all at once. Many heavy drinkers fail to quit cold turkey but do much better when they taper gradually, or even learn to moderate their drinking. If you have decided that you want to stop drinking, there is a world of help and support available.

New Years Resolution #7) Get Out of Debt
Was money a big source of stress in your life last year? Join the millions of Americans who have resolved to spend this year getting a handle on their finances. It’s a promise that will repay itself many times over in the year ahead.¬†

New Years Resolution #8) Learn Something New
Have you vowed to make this year the year to learn something new? Perhaps you are considering a career change, want to learn a new language, or just how to fix your computer? Whether you take a course or read a book, you’ll find education to be one of the easiest, most motivating New Year’s resolutions to keep. Challenge your mind in the coming year, and your horizons will expand.

New Years Resolution #9) Help Others
A popular, non-selfish New Year’s resolution, volunteerism can take many forms. Whether you choose to spend time helping out at your local library, mentoring a child, or building a house, these nonprofit volunteer organizations could really use your help.

New Years Resolution #10) Get Organized
On just about every New Year resolution top ten list, organization can be a very reasonable goal. Whether you want your home organized enough that you can invite someone over on a whim, or your office organized enough that you can find the stapler when you need it, these tips and links should get you started on the way to a more organized life.  And then once your house is organized, call us because everyone moves once their house is exactly the way they want it.

Navigating the Future-Anacortes Senior Resource Fair

Don’t miss the second annual Anacortes senior resource fair

11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10  Admission is FREE!

Whether¬†you are considering downsizing, aging in place, or want more information on health insurance options, don’t miss this great event targeted at baby boomers and seniors.¬†

The event is being held at the Port of Anacortes 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10 Information includes volunteer opportunities, financial planning, medical programs, local entities that cater to seniors, health programs, end of life planning, service clubs, travel clubs, parks and recreation programs, vacation planning, local hot spots for socializing and more.

 Some of the participants include Coldwell Banker Island Living, Group Health, Bank of the Pacific, Anacortes American, Fidalgo Pool & Fitness, Master Gardeners, Friends of the Forest, Anacortes Senior Activity Center, and many more.  There are lots of door prizes and free giveaways.

Come to the Coldwell Banker Island Living  booth and see about great housing options such as homes suitable for multi-generational living, low maintenance homes, condos with a secured building, condos with a yard for a pet, reverse mortgages, refinancing options, or just come by and meet Jingles our Certified Therapy Dog.

If you are a member of the Anacores Chamber of Commerce, stay for the Anacortes Chamber After Hours event.

See you Friday the 10th at the Anacortes Port Warehouse at First St. and Commercial Ave.

Is Your Dog as Cute as Me?

Your dog could be on the Anacortes Dog Calendar to rasie money for the FIDO dog park on H Avenue in Anacortes!

If you think your pooch is cute, funny, handsome, or has the face only a mother could love…submit up to 3 high-quality digital photos to anacortesdogpark@yahoo.com¬†to be considered to have your dog in the Anacortes Dog Calendar for 2011. If you have sent in more than one adorable photo of your dog(s), the DOA 2011 committee will choose one photo per dog that we think will best represent that dog for the calendar.¬† Photos and money must be received before your dog(s) will be entered.¬† The categories below are guidelines for the dog of the month but ALL dogs entered will be in the calendar somewhere.

 

Old dogs (10 and older)

Dogs of Anacortes Business Owners

Service/therapy dogs

Puppies under 9 months old

Best dressed dog

Funniest pose

Dog at dog park

Dogs on boats

Athletic dogs

Cute dogs asleep

Santa and dog photo

Dog smiling

  • Every dog entered will get into the calendar.¬† Not every dog will be the star of one of the 12 months, but every dog will be pictured in the calendar.¬†
  • $25 submission fee for up to three digital photos for ONE dog gets him/her in the calendar (somewhere) plus 1 calendar.
  • $35 submission fee for up to three digital photos for TWO dogs gets them in the calendar (somewhere) plus 1 calendar.
  • $40 submission fee for up to three digital photos for THREE dogs gets them in the calendar (somewhere) plus 1 calendar.
  • The DOA2011 committee will choose ONE photo of each dog to be the official calendar entry.
  • If your entry fee is not received, your dog will not be included.
  • NO humans allowed in any of the photos.¬†
  • Calendars will sell for $15 each.¬†¬† Pre-purchase price of $12 each accepted until September 1, 2010.¬†¬† See order form below.
  • If you need good quality photos taken of your dog, contact Lydia!!

FRONT COVER WINNERS will be chosen by the public attending Bark in the Park Saturday, June 26, 2010.  So get your entry in early!  Don’t miss the chance to have YOUR DOG on the cover of our first Dogs of Anacortes Calendar!  Bring your family and your dog(s), have a blast, and VOTE!!

Cutoff for submitting photos August 31, 2010.

Dogs On Call (DOC) Needs YOU!

Dogs On Call (“DOC”) is an all-volunteer organization that helps dog therapy teams find places to volunteer and helps various venues/facilities (schools, hospitals, nursing homes, etc.) find appropriate teams if they want to have such programs.¬† DOC also designs and runs some programs, mostly in elementary schools.¬† For anybody to be considered by DOC, they and their dog must be certified.¬† There are three major nonprofit organizations that do this:¬† Delta Society, Therapy Dogs International (TDI), and Love on a Leash (LOAL).¬† So, the first step would be to have your dog certified.¬† We can help you find the best way of doing this or you can visit the websites of Delta, TDI, and/or LOAL (www.loveonaleash.org).¬†

If you are interested in LOAL certification, we (Deb Hall and Sarah Broderick) are official testers/certifiers for that organization.  If you do choose to go for LOAL certification, be aware that after passing the test you would be required to do 10 hours of internship visits, and five of them must be observed by one of us.  The test can be scheduled and administered without attending our classes if you think you are ready and do not need any further work.  Dogs must be a year old to be certified and you must have owned them for at least 6 months.  If you have any questions about what is required, please let us know at dogsoncall@gmail.com or 360-293-4675.

Dogs On Call also offers a 6-week Dog Therapy Preparedness Course specifically designed to prepare people and their dogs for therapy work.¬† We involve some polish on training but dogs should already have their basic training accomplished (sit, down, stay, come, loose-leash walking in crowds).¬† The dogs should be very well socialized and show absolutely no aggression toward other dogs, or people.¬† It is critical that the dogs be totally accepting of being handled by a stranger.¬† This includes squeezing of all four feet, ear and tooth/mouth examination, gentle tail pulling, and overall touching.¬† At no time during the handling should the dog display any signs of aggression… hackling, mouthing, staring, snapping, lip curls, etc. are all grounds for immediate dismissal.¬† Attending the classes does not guarantee suitability or certification but might be something of interest for you and your dog.¬† During the classes, we do on-going evaluation of participating dogs and handlers to help determine suitability.¬†¬†Our next scheduled course begins March 1, 330-430pm, in Anacortes and we have room for one or two more¬†participants.¬† If we get enough interest, we will hold¬†another 6-week course as soon after that as possible.¬†¬†¬†

The classes cost $125 for a 6-week session, which would include the test administration for those who go that far.  There is a fee for testing only of $25 (some people want just the test and not the classes).  In addition, each certifying organization charges a fee (if you pass their test) for registration/membership annually.  All costs you incur volunteering with your dog are yours (e.g. gas, meals, etc.).  DOC is an all-volunteer organization that is different from a non-profit as all expenses are the responsibility of the teams.  Our next course will begin March 1 in Anacortes.

If you would like any more details on DOC’s current programs/opportunities, the course we offer, certification, Delta Society, TDI, LOAL, etc., please let us know at dogsoncall@gmail.com or 360-293-4675, e’ll be happy to share more with you.

Keep you pets safe in your home!

  jingles-on-iphone

This is the time of year when many people bring home a puppy or kitty.

Here are tips to keep your pets safe in your home:

 

These are just a few tips to keep your home safe for pets.  Making your home safe for pets makes it safer for everyone!

Water hazards РSmall pets can drown in full bathtubs or sinks, but can also drown in buckets or wadding pools.

Doors and windows – Dogs and cats can run away if they find an open door or window so screens are a good idea.¬†¬†Many puppies and kittens are¬†injured each year by having a door close on them,¬†so be careful when closing doors…even the refrigerator door.

 
Toilets Рtoilet water is not healthy for pets to drink; always remember to close the lid.  Make sure you leave plenty of clean, fresh water for your pets if you must leave them home alone, especially in warm weather.  Toilets can also be a source of drowning for kittens and puppies.

¬†Washer and Dryer – Your pets can crawl into a washer or dryer without your knowledge; close the doors to these appliances when you’re not using them

Balconies РBalconies or decks without safety railings, or railings spaced too far apart, can lead to a dangerous fall.  Deck stairs are especially dangerous

  Dogs and cats are more likely to be injured in these areas of your home.  Keep your pets away from these places or keep an eye on them.

Facebook Users:  Please become a fan of Jingles.  facebook.com/JinglesTheTherapyDog