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Therapy Dog Awards | Rescue Dogs Excel!

 

Rescue dogs got a new chance at life and now devote themselves to making life better for people; therapy dog volunteers receive the NC Governor's Award.

 

Jan 2011 | TheDogPress.com

Vickie Haywood, Usui REIKI Master & Dog Sports Editor

 

St. Joseph in the Pines Therapy dog International Chapter received the NC Governor’s Award of Excellence in Volunteerism on Monday, November 1, 2010.

 

The Chapter logged 1700 hours at various St. Joseph facilities in the Pinehurst, NC area for the last physical year. There are 17 dog and canine units in the Therapy Dog Chapter and more than 50% of the dogs are RESCUES. Of course the actual award goes to the handlers but we all know the dogs are the true stars.

 

I bring this story to your attention because of the number of rescue dogs that are fulfilling such important duties and completing therapy dog training. It’s as though having received another chance at life, these dogs work harder and care more about improving the quality of life for people.

 

One of the owners has 3 rescue Springers; 2 are in the therapy dog program, the third is in training. There are 2 poodles in the program. One is a Toy rescue from The Poodle Case{1} a few years ago. For security reasons, I am not allowed to give any pictures or names, but let me say that I groom the toy rescue and fostered the dog, and he/she is the darling of the over-seventy five set!

 

For a little dog to have come to me so fearful, un-housebroken, and in poor health, that poodle is the embodiment of health and happiness today. And as a great therapy dog, he/she brings better health and happiness to the people.

 

There are a number of Labs and Lab mixes, a lovely blind Bichon who lost his sight to Sudden Retinal Blindness, but who enjoys carrying on his therapy dog duties despite his own disability. There was a lovely little Min Pin, several Shih Tzu or Lasha mixes, and an agility Dachshund in the group, plus 2 Dobermans rescued by the therapy coordinator herself.

 

Unfortunately, just days after the Award ceremony, the Volunteer coordinator for St Joseph’s was let go with other staff due to huge budget cuts.

 

The therapy dog program may survive, or it may not, and this is the utter shame of volunteer work. In this case, without Therapy Dogs International or another organization, no one individual could afford the insurance to do this kind of volunteer work. No one person could keep up with the reports, the training and therapy dog assignments outside of the training environment. It is imperative to have someone inside that can keep abreast of an individual’s need for visitation.

 

Just as the Reading dog program provides an ear that does not condemn a child for lack of confidence in reading abilities, the nursing and hospice programs offer a loving warm body to cuddle with. It is a scientific fact that petting an animal will bring blood pressure down, reduce stress, and in some cases reduce pain while providing mental stimulation to the elderly and in the case of Hospice, comfort to dying patients.VICKIE HAYWOOD - SPORTS EDITOR FOR THE DOG PRESS

 

So a hearty CONGRATULATIONS goes out to the recipients of the NC Governors awards this year. Well, as of January, a few members have dropped out, but the therapy dog program is continuing...

 

If you are in the Pinehurst NC area or work with Therapy Dogs International or have connections with the Governor’s office, we could sure use some help! I can be reached at Poodle1949@gmail.com or call (910) 369-2958.

 

Reference and Related Poodle Information: {1}  Poodle Rescue  ~  My Miniature Poodle Breeding Program

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