June 21st 2015 3:01 pm
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I've had a couple of new experiences in the past several months. I've been accepted to participate in the canine cognition research project at Yale University and have really enjoyed that experience. I make the trip to Yale a few times during the good weather months to participate in the program. During each session, I'm presented with a few puzzles/problems to solve. The researchers watch my reactions and take notes. The ultimate goal of the program as I understand it is to arrive at better ways to train military, police, and service dogs based on the studies of how each dog learns and solves his puzzles. I don't know how many dogs are being studied now, but I know that when I started there were only about 100 participants. I know that there are many more now. I'll be going to New Haven this week for a new set of "tests".
I've also started working in the Tail Wagging Tutor program under the auspices of Therapy Dogs International. I go to visit grade school classes and have students who are reluctant to read aloud in class for fear of making a mistake and being teased come to read to me in the reading lounge because I'm nonjudgemental. The kids improve their reading skills, they learn to like reading, and they learn about dogs.
I've had a couple of readers who weren't comfortable with dogs read to me and become great fans of mine.
October 31st 2013 7:01 pm
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For the past three years, I've been visiting friends in nursing homes. Each time that I make a visit, it seems that most of the residents want to pet me or say hello, but I've been limiting my visits to an individual or two whom my dad has known. A while back I took the test and qualified as a certified therapy dog and have become an associate of Therapy Dogs International. When I go to a nursing home or hospital now, I visit everyone who wants to say hello. I hope the residents of the home look forward to my visits as much as I do. You can learn more about therapy dogs on line at Therapy Dogs International.org
August 16th 2013 4:09 am
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In my last post I said that I was preparing for the therapy dog evaluation. Well, as they say, "The best laid plans..."
It didn't happen then, but I continued to make my visits as an unofficial therapy dog. I've been visiting schools, nursing homes, and hospitals and have enjoyed doing it. Now, I'm happy to announce that I did go for evaluation and passed.
I now have my "credentials" and can continue visiting my familiar institutions and hope to become busier going to new places to brighten the day for a lot of people who need
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