When we moved to the States, I had no opportunity to start teaching again, as we did not have the right visa. I still wanted to work with people and after reading about therapy dogs, I decided I wanted to get a puppy and train her for that. After some searching I found a breeder very close to the city where I live and after explaining what I was looking for in a puppy, she selected Tess for me. Tess and I went through several obedience classes and she got her CGC before we took therapy dog classes with Delta.
Tess was a really mouthy pup. Whenever she greeted someone she had to take the hand in her mouth. One day, she was about six months, I took her to the dog park. It was very hot, so she swum in the river and played a little with the ball and then we went back to the car. When we arrived at the car, I wanted to give her some water, so she waited outside. Then a gentleman came up to me and told me his wife was paralyzed and was in the car: could she see Tess? So I took her to the car and there she sat for about fifteen minutes, in the heat, while the lady was stroking her and talking to her. She never bit the lady, she didn't shy away, she just put her head on her knee. That was the moment I knew she was made for this work.
We started therapy work when she was 1 1/2, three days in the week, all in hospitals. So far her youngest patient was ten days old and her oldest a dying lady of 90. She is the gentlest dog I know and everything people do is fine, hugging, pulling her towards them, crying...it's a special kind of job.
Last edited by inge; 11-03-2012 at 10:59 AM.