A Thanksgiving Message From Julie Brewer
Though I am thankful for many things, November seems to be the time of year that I start to think about it. One of the things I am most thankful for is dogs, yes Dogs! I can’t imagine a life without a furry friend and companion to share it with. I am so lucky to work with dogs everyday being a Trainer at AZ Dog Sports.
The Therapy Dogs Training Program I work with at AZ Dog Sports is very rewarding.
Many dog owners have decided that what they want to do most with their volunteer time is be part of a Pet Therapy Team. They have signed up for the Therapy Dog Training Program and have set out on the journey to become officially certified teams. I enjoy working with each team showing them how to properly handle their dogs in a public setting.
What You Learn in a Therapy Dogs Training Program
When starting out as a team, I teach my students proper etiquette and social skills when introducing and sharing our dogs with others. We discuss all the rules and protocols to follow. I show them how to safely interact with individuals who might be using a wheelchair, walker, cane or crutches to get around. We talk about how to interact with kids and give the kids guidance on how to pet the dogs when they come up to us during a visit.
Places Therapy Dogs Visit
Some of our teams are looking to visit hospitals, assisted living, skilled nursing or rehabilitation centers. Other teams are visiting schools, libraries, call centers or maybe the airport. Pet Therapy Teams bring comfort, joy and happiness to people during their visits. They can relieve stress, anxiety and make people feel a little less lonely. Wherever these Pet Therapy Teams go the people around them are thankful they are there.
I have been a Therapy Dog volunteer and handler for over 10 years. Having raised 6 therapy dogs of my own through the years has been very rewarding. Each of my dogs had a different personality so I kept that in mind when I chose to volunteer.
- My Roxie loves people of all ages
- Hailey loved the kids
- Lizzie Lou loved attending special holiday events
- Dani likes the hospitals
- and Spot just loved to go meet anyone!
When I am teaching Therapy Dog classes I let the student handlers know that it takes teamwork so they must pick a volunteer area or location that their dog will also enjoy visiting just as much.
What to do When You See a Pet Therapy Team
Please remember when you see a Pet Therapy Team pass you by in a hallway, a corridor, a library, school or hospital, they are there to volunteer their time for you and anyone else they see that day. They are there to bring a smile to your face and help you forget your troubles even if just for a moment. Stop and talk to them, pet their dog and be thankful they are there. We value our Pet Therapy Team so much. I am thankful to be a part of developing, testing and helping certify new team members on a weekly basis.
Thank You From Julie Brewer
I would like to recognize and thank ALL the Pet Therapy Teams that have trained through AZ Dog Sports to become certified with an official organization.
- Frank and Layla
- Heidi and Campbell
- Hannah and Redd
- Michelle and Charlie
- Chelsie and Macy
- Courtney and Wesson
- Sandy and Jax
- Shawn and Justice
- Sheryl and Riley
- Pam and Peyton
- Jan and Axel
- Peggy and Molly
- Amber and Gilly
- Kathy and Wager
- Grace and Sketch
- Sheila and Charlie & Willow
- Richard and Dyna & Geordie
- Mary Ellen and Mookie & Murdoch
- Co Handlers Steve/Noreen and Gracie
- Co Handlers Nelson/Lisa and Tovi