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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-02-2009, 12:52 AM Thread Starter
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Therapy Pets

I've been interested in doing pet therapy work for a long time. One of my goals is to have a therapy dog...specifically to help with adult and child literacy programs, but really anything.
I was talking about this to my mum the other day, and she suggested I try it with Muffin. It was like a lightbulb went off.

Ever since he was little I've taken Muffin lots of places. We regularly go to pet stores, he loves car rides of any type, and he goes to my parents house too. He loves people, and doesn't care who they are as long as they'll pet him. He walks ok on a leash once he settles in, and he's done ok with calm dogs so far.

I began really looking into it and I'm hopeful. I've scheduled a test to see if he's up to it at the end of September, so we'll be going into overdrive with his visits and practice.

The one thing I'm having problems with is that he's not a fan of dogs who bark, or stare at him. Calm dogs he doesn't mind, and he's ok with my parent's dog...but if they stare or bark he hisses. We also need to practice being examined...he doesn't mind with me, and he doesn't really fuss when others do it, but he doesn't make it overly easy either.

Anyways, any tips on getting him more used to calm dogs? The examination I can handle, my bf and the other roomies are gonna be jumping in (not that they know it yet, lol) but this dog thing I need him to work at. *sighs*
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-02-2009, 01:28 AM
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Re: Therapy Pets

I wish I had a helpful suggestion for you, Becky.
I think there are too few therapy cats, and I wish you and Muffin much luck.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-02-2009, 12:34 PM
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Re: Therapy Pets

Are you worried that Muffin will run into dogs during therapy sessions? I am sure you could just schedule his time when there will be no other animals present.

I applaud your efforts to get Muffin certified. I can just imagine him helping sitting with some kids as they read to him.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-02-2009, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Therapy Pets

One of the things they may test us on is how he reacts to an unresponsive animal. So, if a dog were to ignore him how would he react.

So far he's been ok if they ignore him, but he doesn't like them to stare at him, and he hates it when they bark....

Mostly I'd just like him to be socialized to dogs because I do plan on having one sometime in the future, and it would make things much easier. Doran actually likes dogs generally, my parents dog he absolutely loves! Muffin didn't spend as much time with Missy (parent's dog) when he was little, so he's less sure around her, but generally ok.

I'm really excited about this whole thing, and I'm sure Muffin will love it!
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-04-2009, 02:30 AM
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Re: Therapy Pets

Let me know how it goes, because I've been interested in getting Chica into something similar. She's quite the same as Muffin in that I've taken her everywhere with me, pet stores, car rides, parks, people's houses... she's social with any cat who doesn't hiss at her, and she's experienced a rowdy puppy, a barking pomeranian who licks her until she's wet, and a quiet beagle mix and did just fine. She doesn't even need a leash- she follows me and comes when I call her. My mom has always said she'd make a good therapy pet, so please share the details of your experience!
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