What a nice surprise this morning to see my favorite plush-coat German Shepherd friend, Elka, and her Mom, Pam Gaynor in the News concerning their therapy dog work!
Pam worked with me when Elka was young, bringing her to puppy classes, basic obedience, beyond basics, agility , CGC and even a freestyle (dancing with dogs) class offered at Bed & Biscuit when we owned that facility in NC. Elka is now 8 years old and stays very busy going to Hospice and nursing home facilities each week.
Elka was not "born" a therapy dog, she came from working lines and like many Shepherds, had a fairly high defense drive - always on alert. I remember when she came to our Poodle socialization classes and how she would keep an eye out for any newcomers, barking to let us know if someone came in the training buidling - letting us know if they did not belong in Poodle class! She was a great Poodle protector. Pam taught Elka however, that if something bothered her, she was to look to her owner for protection and guidance.
Because Pam taught Elka to look to her for direction, her early work with Elka has paid off - not only by giving Pam many years of pleasure with a treasure of a dog, but even giving terminally ill people many moments of happiness in their last days.
Please take a moment and view the short video clip (click on the video right above Elka's photo) on this link: