In this section we would like to highlight some of our families and their dog's achievements.
Goldenhearth Samhain Skye, CGN Certified Therapy Dog - SKYE
Skye's Therapy Dog Journey
by owner Karine Gagnon
When I contacted Clorinda with regards to adopting a puppy from her in late 2019, I told her that my ultimate goal was to volunteer with Skye as a therapy dog. Clorinda chose Skye for me because she was the mildest mannered and most patient female puppy she had, but she was also quite confident. These are important traits for a therapy dog to have. They must be calm, confident, gentle and patient. They need to be comfortable in a variety of situations that other dogs may find awkward, including being around loud, excited, agitated and emotional individuals but most of all, they need to really love meeting new people!
There really isn't any class for this (if anyone tries to sell you one, run!) however therapy dogs do have to pass an evaluation where they will typically be asked, among other things, to not steal food on command, walk through a group of people with walkers, wheelchairs and canes and be faced with loud noises so the evaluators can see how the dog reacts. It is also important that a dog not jump up on people, especially during their evaluation. When you contact a volunteer organization, they will typically send you an outline of their evaluation so you will know what to work on. Skye has been through three of these evaluations and she passed every time, however I then selected a specific group that I felt she fit in with the best for us to work with. We did two supervised visits with one of the evaluators and we were then cleared to do our own visits. It is normal for dogs to show some stress during their first visits, just as we humans do when we begin a new job.
Skye has progressively grown into her job as a therapy dog and I am so very proud of her! It is wonderful to see how much she loves doing her therapy visits and how much she brightens the days of everyone she meets.
We are very proud of every milestone that Karine and Skye have achieved and look forward to even more adventures for these two. Karine now has a male pup, Skye's nephew, from us last year, so we will follow both Skye and Darcy on their travels and all the wonderful adventures they go on with Karine and Adam!