PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

It is with enormous Doodle size pride to announce that –

 Harley is a Therapy Dog! 

He’s been certified with Therapy Dog International since the beginning of June.

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I’m very fond of this volunteer organization and all that it does, because it offers so many different programs, such as;

  • Assisted Living Facilities
  • Hospice
  • Hospitals
  • Libraries
  • Nursing Homes
  • Shelters
  • Disasters
  • And wherever else therapy dogs are needed!

One that is especially dear to my heart is a program called TAIL WAGGIN TUTORS a reading program which take place in the schools…

This is the PAWfect program for Harley

This is the PAWfect program for Harley

“This program provides a relaxed and “dog-friendly” atmosphere, which allows students to practice the skill of reading. Many of the children chosen for this program have difficulties reading and as a result have developed self-esteem issues. They are often self-conscious when reading aloud in front of other classmates.By sitting down next to a dog and reading to the dog, all threats of being judged are put aside. The child relaxes, pats the attentive dog, and focuses on the reading. Reading improves because the child is practicing the skill of reading, building self-esteem, and associating reading with something pleasant.”

As with any new career change, you’ve got to study your craft. The only way I know to do that is to practice because practice makes perfect! But Houston we had a problem. When Harley and I decided it was time to take his show on the road  – he really hadn’t worked with any “live subjects” yet. I needed some children, and I thought it best to borrow some he didn’t already know.

Immediately I thought of eight year old Carmen and her three year old sister Corrin from Ebenezer Baptist Church. They would be pawfect as live bait participants in preparation for Harley’s elementary school debut…

Harley and little people - like a big mac and fries, a great combo

Harley and little people are like a big mac, fries and a large sweet tea – just a great combo

It was suggested in some of the literature I read – for Harley to bring along a special cot, rug or mat to help him associate sitting, laying down and being still when I placed it on the floor.  Using it like a “signal” to remind him we were there for a specific reason.

I mentioned this to his sponsors at Olde Towne Pet Resort and they blew me away with their generosity when they donated a snazzy convertible car bed for Harley to use. This bed, along with Harley’s personality, would surely make the children smile…

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On your mark – get set – GO!

With everyone present, we took a few minutes to cuddle on the couch together to get cozy, comfy and acquainted…

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Once Carmen was ready I told her to give it a try. I was anxious to see what Harley would do. For the test run, he was great, but watch little Corrin play with Harley’s tail like it was a plume #toofunny

To me, that went well so we moved to the floor and to his car bed…

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It took him no time at all to settle in and he seemed to remember from working with me earlier that this is where he’s supposed to remain while Carmen reads her story…

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Thanks to both Carmen and Corrin, Harley is now ready for school, and I believe anything else that’s on our list. I am so proud of my little Doodle Bug…

Standing in front of the Assisted Living Facility

Standing in front of the Assisted Living Facility

From children to AARP members, Harley has no problem spending the entire day making people smile…

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But it must be “unDOODLElievabley” hard being this cute, because when his work was done, he snored loudly while sleeping on top of a Frisbee…

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Have a “Doodle*tastic” weekend – but be safe, let’s not get crazy just because it’s a holiday…

Be safe and enjoy

Be safe and enjoy

Thanks for reading, come back and check us out next week for a little Monday Mischief…

14 Comments
  • Amanda
    August 29, 2014

    Way to go! What fantastic service y’all are providing to your community. My doodle likes (demands) to kiss everyone he meets, so that may scare off the kiddos!

    • Cathy Bennett
      August 30, 2014

      Maybe not Amanda, Harley is a kisser, licker and everything else, but when I am training him, I’ve started putting on his neck scarf, and using his convertible bed, so he understands in these settings I have a different level of expectations of him. So far so good 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, please come back soon…

  • Ann Staub
    August 29, 2014

    Congratulations Harley! Can’t wait to see some more of your reading adventures. I think it’s great that you get to hang out with the little humans while they read stories to you. What a great life!

    • Cathy Bennett
      August 30, 2014

      Ann, little humans are his favorites so this ought to be nothing but “doodle*fun” We’ll keep you posted #punintended

  • Emma
    August 29, 2014

    Good work Harley. I have no doubt you will be an excellent therapy dog. I will keep you in mind too as my Mom is now old enough for that exclusive AARP club. She seems to want to ignore it, but if I need help, I can call on you! Enjoy the holiday weekend!

    • Cathy Bennett
      August 30, 2014

      Ooohhhhh Emma, your mother might never give you any more special treats if she finds out you were talking about her age. You’d better run now, jump on her lap smother her with kisses and tell her she’s the youngest looking pet parent you’ve ever seen! Enjoy your holiday weekend also 🙂

  • DashLilly
    August 29, 2014

    Hooray for Harley!! You will be a HIT with the kids. And I bet you will get to hear some pretty good stories. I am so proud of you, you Doodle! Have a great long weekend.

    • Cathy Bennett
      August 30, 2014

      Dash, I heard a great story about Pete the cat and his new shoes when I went to story time the other day, it had a song and everything!

  • Yvonne Smith
    August 29, 2014

    You go Harley !

    You will inspire all children to read and have a good time because of your gently spirit !!!!!!

    • Cathy Bennett
      August 30, 2014

      Thanks Yvonne, that would truly be a blessing…

  • Lee
    August 30, 2014

    Harley, congratulations again! Know you will perform in Doodle fashion!

    • Cathy Bennett
      August 30, 2014

      We’re gonna do our Doodle best pops, we’ll give it all we’ve got 🙂

  • Pamela
    August 31, 2014

    Congratulations to both of you. This is a sign of lots of hard work.

    And Carmen and Corrin were wonderful to help out with Harley’s practice run.

    I can’t wait to read more about your therapy dog adventures.

    • Cathy Bennett
      August 31, 2014

      Thanks Pamela – We both are very excited about meeting more children.

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