When I was 18 months old, my human, Hsin-Yi, took me to join a special group called Outreach Therapy Pets. There, I passed special tests which showed that:
- – I am friendly and well-behaved
- – I like meeting new people and enjoy being touched
- – I have met lots of strange human things and am not scared of them
- – I don’t act silly when I am surprised or scared
…and so I become a registered Therapy Dog! There are lots of different types of Therapy Pets – there are other dogs, of course, and also cats, rabbits, donkeys and even a llama!
As a Therapy Dog, I got to visit a place called the Laura Ferguson Trust which is a ‘rehabilitation centre for people with disabilities’ – I am not sure what that means but there were humans who had hurt their bodies and needed help and cheering up – and I got to make lots of new friends. They were really cool – they just wanted to cuddle me and throw a ball for me or even just talk to me and laugh!
I also go to another place called Youth Justice where I help young humans who had done silly things and need to learn how to behave nicely to other people. They really like me – they get really excited when I come and always want to play Tug or Chase with me or ask Hsin-Yi to show them my tricks!
Sometimes, I go with Hsin-Yi to special Outreach events to meet special humans that need help or tell more people about the work we Therapy Pets do.
Here are some pictures of me at a special Children’s Event in the Mt Roskill Library, Auckland:
I used to go to another place called Kensington House where there were lots of nice old humans who spoke very softly and wanted to pat me. But I had to stop going because I kept trying to shake paws with them and Hsin-Yi was afraid that my claws would scratch their soft skin. Also, they lived in very small rooms with lots of little ‘pretty-things’ which might fall and break if I knocked them with my bum or my tail. I couldn’t even turn around sometimes – I had to back out of the rooms. Hsin-Yi said she thought it would be better for a smaller dog to go and visit them, although they called her and said they were very sorry to say goodbye because everybody really liked me!