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Posts Tagged ‘therapy dogs’

Yesterday, we left our chatty harlequin look-a-likes, curling up on the couch with what appeared to be a squeaky duck! We’ll pick up the fun where we left off….

Cooper: Now let’s see, Domino, the last I remember is watching you curl up with a duck (zzzzzz……) followed by some very sweet dreams. Is that duck somethin’ magical, or what?

Domino: It’s my most treasured possession. I am a bird dog (FYI — appreciate your heritage, little Coopster!), and of all my toys I treasure my squeaky bird most, followed closely by my squeaky ball.

Cooper: I’m rather partial to green squeaky balls myself, Domino. That squeak just gets my joy going! Yesterday, you were about to share a favorite story from your therapy dog files. Please do!

Domino: My favorite lady was Miss Ann. Not everyone loves dogs as much as they should, so when you’re doing your therapy dog work, you always have to be careful meeting new people until your handler says it’s OK. But when we first met Miss Ann, I walked in, took one sniff and just knew she loved me, so I jumped right up into her lap! Mom was horrified. But I KNEW! Miss Ann had to explain to Mom what I already understood — that she’d raised Cockers her whole life and loved them the most of anything. I’d lay in her lap for hours and we’d watch TV as she petted me, because she knew all the best spots. Mom says she still doesn’t understand how I knew all that so fast. But I told her, I’m a professional!

Cooper: That’s awesome, Dom! Think of all the joy you brought Miss Ann… I’d sure like to earn my therapy dog stripes! I’d also like to do agility. And I’ve heard you called the Agility King—How’d you get that royal nickname?

Domino: Agility is great. I like doing the jumps – it makes your ears and your skirt (kilt for us guys) fly up like Superman! However, I think running real fast is silly – I like to take my time and just jog between the obstacles. Those dogs that go hell-bent around the course are just asking for a sprain! So, I guess the name is from being king of the course, don’t you think?

Cooper: Yes! You & I have a terrifical resemblance, don’t you think? Are you sure we’re not long-lost brothers, separated at birth?

Domino: Now that you mention it, hmmm… If we’re brothers, may I be the dashing and debonair one?

Cooper: You are already, my brother! Domino–one last question–what do you know for sure? I mean… do you have a motto?

Domino: The greatest thing we can do to be happy is to make other’s lives better!

Fab fotos courtesy Domino’s very cool Mom, Andrea Caudill

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Cooper had such a doggone good time when he interviewed Kelso, aka Special K, he could hardly wait to talk with Kelso’s big bro, Domino. Those 2 lucky dogs have such an active life with their Mum, Andrea (she’s an authentic dog whisperer!), that it took a while to catch the devastatingly handsome Domino with a spare moment. Let’s just say, that when Coop & Dom got started, they didn’t want the fun to end!

Cooper: Jeepers, creepers, Domino, where’d you get those peepers?

Domino: They came free with my tuxedo suit! Many folks think they’re my best feature… but not those neighborhood kids who came to visit one day. They saw my eyes and ran away screaming!

Cooper: Ha! Wish I’d seen that! What’s your story, you handsome creature?

Domino: Well, as pound pups, we don’t like to talk about our “before” lives. Suffice to say I was a young buck out on the streets starving, dirty and cold, and ended up finding the loop of an animal control officer’s catch pole. A few hours later, shivering in a chilly, loud cage, I looked up and saw…. my new Mom! She said I looked like a starved cow with my bones and spotted coat, but adopted me anyways.

Cooper: You lucky dog! What do you love best about your forever home?

Domino: When I first moved in, I liked the mirrors and door springs. They were so fascinating! Now, I like Mom; warm, comfy beds; my toys; and regular meals. In that order.

Cooper: Tell me about your very important job, Dom…

Domino: I’m a licensed therapy dog, and let me tell you, it is truly a calling – 24-7 and no vacations! My main job is to keep Mom’s blood pressure at a healthy level. I jump in her lap and roll around and act silly until she laughs, then I push my head under her hand until she pets me and de-stresses. This is exacting work – many dogs try this as amateurs – but I’m a trained professional! I encourage her to exercise – upper body workouts (throwing my toys) and cardio (taking me for walks). I also like to take Mom to visit our local senior home. Every Saturday when she goes to pick up her keys and my leash, I do my happy dance. I love going and seeing all my peeps!

Cooper: I’d sure like a therapy dog gig — any advice?

Domino: First, no biters allowed, little Coopster! When you master that you, too, can study hard and join this honorable profession… It’s SO rewarding! When folks see me, they holler “DOMINO!” Of course, they’ll holler your name, and that’s when you need to start doing a happy dance! When your owner lets go of the leash, run to them–that makes them feel happy. Then you sit down (still do the happy dance if you can), and smile at them. Then let them pet you.

Cooper: Gee, I think I do that naturally!

Domino: But the real trick, Coop, is to work the crowd so no one feels left out. Make sure everyone has a ‘hello’ and a pet! And take note: Many of them have treats, and they’ll give you lots of treats if you do a few tricks.

Cooper: This is so much fun, Domino, could we continue this interview tomorrow?

Domino: Sure–I have loads more good stories to tell… like the one bout Miss Ann! That’ll give me time to snooze with my favorite duck pillow… there’s room for you on the couch, too, Super Coop! zzzz……

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FUN alert! If you enjoyed Cooper’s Speak! interview with his Cocker cousin, Kelso (aka Special K) , you’ll love where the conversation goes when Cooper chats with Kelso’s brother, Domino! That super-talented Dom is a therapy dog extraordinaire, an agility king, a thorn in Kelso’s side and his mum’s pride & joy–well, three out of four isn’t bad! It’s 100% Cocker fun, it’s comin’ tomorrow and you’re invited!

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Wake up, Precious!  Rise and shine, Sunshine!  It’s Monday, you’ve got a job to do!

Pound-for-pound, Precious is about as powerful as a pooch can be. She was born a Georgia Peach, but now lives the country life in the Great Northwest, managing home and hearth for Alice and Tish. She found Alice at a time when Alice’s mom was struggling with Alzheimer’s disease. Just 2 1/2 pounds of puppy-joy, Precious entertained them and gave them something to smile about!

Because everyone smiles at a little dog in a pink tutu! And we mean, EVERYONE.

Grown-up and a hefty 6-pounds now, Precious, of course, resists the urge to throw her weight around–o my, that’s so not her! She gently coaxes smiles from one & all. She’ll plant a kiss on your cheek (or your toes) when you least expect it, but you need it most. How can sucha big, powerful personality reside in sucha small package? (one of Life’s great mysteries, for sure) Cooper and Swirl say:

Girlfriend, you really are Precious!

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Sammy was wandering the streets in Plummer, Idaho, when a kind policeman nabbed the little urchin and brought him to a Spokane shelter. He wasn’t even 5 months old… Sammy didn’t know it then, but he was about to come out of the darkness and into the light!

That’s when Caryl found him, ‘a filthy little furball, scrunched up at the front of his kennel.’ She couldn’t tell head from tail, until she put her finger into his cage, and a little tongue came out to give her a kiss. Sammy went home with Caryl.

Hey, Sammy, open your eyes to your great new life!

Sure enough, Sammy found he could sail through life with Caryl….

Yes, sir! He could fly!

Caryl, smart cookie that she is, realized that Sammy had a certain effect on people: he made them smile. Even the biggest frown turned upside down around Sammy  ;D

It was a balancing act, but Sammy and Caryl went into pet therapy training, and not surprisingly, Mr Warm & Fuzzy Feelings Sammy graduated at the top of his class! Just four days after his 1st birthday, Sammy passed his Delta Society evaluation (dogs must be at least 1-year-old), on his way to becoming an official pet therapy dog!

For nearly 2 months now, Sammy and Caryl have been visiting their local Ronald McDonald House, bringing smiles and unconditional doggie love to everyone there.

Sammy, you’re our hero! You make former pound pups everywhere very proud.

Sammy photos courtesy Caryl Harper. Thanks!

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