4 years ago
My dog was certified by Therapy Dogs International so you may want to check and see if they have any "testers" in your area (www.tdi-dog.org). Just an FYI, except for rehab centers, the hospitals all rules about where the dogs can visit. For example, at one we can only do the rehab floor and the skilled nursing unit. We are absolutely not allowed in pediatrics. (I'm not entirely sure why but would guess part of the reason is the number of kids with asthma.) If you're particularly interested in working with children you might try a reading program with your local library. We do Reading to Rover once a month and it is a BIG hit!
4 years ago
I did pet therapy for 9 years with 6 different labs. My dogs all came from breeders as potential show quality but as president of a Humane Society I have seen many that could be rescued and trained to become wonderful dogs. Socialization is the key to a good dog. Many groups offer classes and then you will go through a test to see if both the patient and you will be safe while you are working your dog. Dogs have to be in good shape and pest free to work in the hospital. I have to say it is one of the most rewarding things you can do for yourself, the dog, and the lives you touch.
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