Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Santa Monica
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Thanked 50 Times in 14 Posts
My dog Logan and I do hospital therapy at UCLA and Santa Monica/UCLA hospital.
Years ago I saw several news stories on therapy dogs and did my research on what it takes to become a therapy team. At the time Logan was 2 years old and full of energy. I had several conversations with the director of the animal therapy program at UCLA and when he met Logan, he commented on what a great therapy dog he would make if he had the proper training.
I spent the next 6 months training for the Delta Society test (now it's called Pet Partners) and felt ready to be tested. As it turned out we didn't pass on our first attempt, but was told to keep practicing and try again.
I took the Canine Good Companion test (CGC) a few weeks after not passing the Delta test and left with a perfect score. Now it was back to working towards the next Delta Test which was in six months. When we retook the Delta test, the evaluator was the same evaluator and asked, "Is this the same dog"? We passed with ease. That was almost two years ago.
Logan and I do our two visits each month visiting staff and patients. When we enter the hospital, Logan walks in as though he owns the place. He's greeted with lots of warmth and praise. Some of the hospital staff have numerous Logan pictures on their cell phones and share these images with other friends and family.
This type of service is not only a lot of fun, but extremely rewarding, especially when we put a lot of smiles on a lot of faces.
Often people I meet get the impression that Logan’s life is dedicated to being only a therapy dog. Not true. When Logan is home or out for a walk at the park he is just like any other dog. He runs after birds and squirrels, plays with other dogs, etc…