Jan 12

Meet Therapy Dog Nena...saved so that she might help save others.

Hi everyone, two and four legged friends alike! I am a thearpy dog.  My name is Nena and the Poodle Blogger asked me to write and introduce myself. I am a 63 pound white Standard Poodle. At least that is what I've been told.  I REALLY think that I am the "favorite child" of my forever parents, Diane and Marvin  in North Carolina and I am very happy to claim them!

But my life did not start out as happy as it is now. Ten years ago I was born in a “puppy mill”, daughter of a malnourished 36 lb mom (which is very skinny for a tall Standard Poodle). I was only two days old when many people came with law enforcement, and animal control officers and scooped all of us up. There were many more dogs than just Poodles, but since I was so young my eyes weren’t opened yet,  I never met the other dogs.

Anyway. these wonderful people from Florida Poodle Rescue took me in their warm safe hands and I knew I would be okay. My only brother did not survive, but my Mom and I went to foster homes where we were loved and given special care. I lived with Joani and several other Poodles for about 3 months.  Then one day my forever mom drove down from NC to pick me up.  We had a long 11 hour ride back to my new home, but I mostly slept, played with a toy and ate. I loved the trip and still love going anywhere in a car today. Just pick up the keys and I am ready to go!

Speaking of cars, let me tell you about my favorite trips.  My Mom always wanted a Therapy Dog. I was so happy to oblige because I want to help other humans in need, because they helped me when I was a baby. So Mom took me to a training class. I was a natural with all this stuff and became a certified Therapy Dog on the very first try! That test was a breeze for me. Now I get to go all kinds of places.

Every month I go to the VA Hospital and help the Veterans play Bingo. Sometimes someone reaches for me but can’t quite do it so Mom carefully places my feet up on the wheelchair so I can be touched. She is special that way, my Mom. When it’s okay, she lets me lick their hands. She says she is very proud of me and my work. She was very surprised when I didn’t even get scared the first time I rode in an elevator!

My very favorite visits are with children.  I get to go to the library and children read to me. Sometimes they even rub me while they’re reading.  It feels so good.  I’m actually a little sad when we have to go home.

But I have a very special place that I go to every week. This is where I do my most important therapy work.  Mom takes me to the Child Advocacy Center where physically and sexually abused children are interviewed.  Sometimes there is a family with several children in the room.  Mom doesn’t know who is there to be interviewed, but I DO.  The people watching on closed circuit TV have told mom that I go directly over to the child that needs me most, then later I make my way around the room. to visit everyone else  A lot of times I feel that the staff and other adults need me almost as much. This is really my favorite place!

Well, long story short, I want to thank all of you who work with rescue groups to help lost, abandoned, absued and homeless dogs find loving, nurturing forever homes, just like someone did for me.

Love to all,
          NENA FROM NC

Many thanks to Nena's mother, not only for typing this for Nena, but for all she does to help people through her therapy work with Nena, and all she does to help dogs through her volunteer work with Carolina Poodle Rescue.  When you save a dog, you never know what type of impact that dog's life may have. He or she may be a lifesaver to their owners, offering them joy and happiness they would have never known otherwise.

The dog you save could even turn out to be a dog who does what Nena does, truly providing  valuable therapy for hundreds of people during her lifetime.  Therapy Dogs are, in my opinion, angels in fuzzy bodies.  Thank you again Diane and Nena.   Melanie the Poodle Blogger.

Interested in Therapy Dog Work?  I recently came across this excelllent article on The 7 Best Therapy Dog Breeds on SeniorCare.Net.  Although as a dog trainer I am very opinionated on dog breeds and cannot agree with every single recommendation, I greatly enjoyed this article and I'm sure you will too!  Take a Look:  The 7 Best Therapy Dog Breeds.

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