Change a Dog’s Life…and Yours Too!?
A client of mine rescued a dog from a local county shelter. The dog was cute and scruffy tan terrier mix. Sort of similar to the famous movie star dog Benji. My client had gone to the county shelter hoping to find the perfect furry companion for her and her family. She didn’t have any particular breed in mind and was hoping to feel a connection with one of the dogs. The dog hadn’t come from any particular pure-bred pedigree. He was potty trained, friendly, a little mischievous and always interested in investigating everything and everyone around him. As in most cases with dogs that are adopted from an animal shelter, very little else was known about him or his history. Based on the connection she had with the dog, she decided that it would be worth a chance bring him home and see if he fits in with the family.
She scheduled a brief appointment with me to discuss her newest family member and get my opinion. As we chatted about her new furry companion, I could tell that they were hitting it off well. It was evident to me that the dog was gentle, warm and loved people. He would listen to her every word and stayed close by her side. I could feel that this dog had a really calming presence about him and made you feel good just to be around him. I mentioned to my client that her new furry friend had a really calming and healing nature about him. I suggested to her that he would be a good therapy dog for the elderly and for children. She was delighted, but shocked to hear this. She thought that she just had a sweet dog that seemed to like her. She had no indication that he was meant for a higher purpose of helping others.
After the consultation, she thought deeply about our conversation. She thought that it would be interesting to see what skills her new rescue dog possessed. Could he have a special gift of healing and calming? Could he be meant for more than just being her family dog? Could he have a special gift that she should nurture? So, she figured what the heck. Let’s give it a go. She enrolled him into some classes and certification programs.
He excelled in every class and passed every test with flying colors. He is now certified and has logged hundreds of hours of service work. He really enjoys helping others and everybody loves when he comes for a visit. He is in high demand and has become a local celebrity.
Both of them visit nursing homes, hospitals, children’s reading programs and numerous other facilities where he can provide healing, joy and love to everyone around him. Virtually every day they hop in the family vehicle and head to a new destination. They both enjoy the volunteer work and gain great pleasure and purpose in supporting others. Not only has the scruffy rescue dog’s life changed but, his human companion’s life has changed as well. We all have a purpose, even our furry companions.
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Articles from Victoria Stilwell
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- Becoming a Dog Trainer
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