One day this past month, these three therapy dogs visited the same facility. As you can see, our dogs come in all sizes! One of our smallest dogs is Betty Boop (pictured here). Then there is Badger and finally our “gentle giant”, Kona. Each dog brings a special experience to everyone who comes into contact with them. We appreciate each one!
We are always on the lookout for new dogs to share with our communities. If you think your dog would be a good candidate, please let us know.
Waiting for R.E.A.D.
Our therapy dogs have been very busy this fall with a variety of visits. We have brought joy to residents of assisted living facilities and adult day care centers. Many of our teams have been involved with R.E.AD. (Reading Education Assistance Dogs) in the primary schools, where the dogs have patiently listened to 1st and 2nd graders read and discuss their books. In this photo, Oreo decided to wait for her next reader by climbing on her handlers bean bag chair. Since she was so comfy there, we let her watch and listen from her new post.
Oreo has been listening to children read to her for the last 10 years!
During the month of May, BARCC members are extra busy presenting dog safety programs to 4K, 5K and Primary school students. Because summer is almost here, it’s a good time of year to remind the students how to safely approach any dog and how to handle a situation where an unfamiliar dog comes near them. In this photo, a 4K student is asking permission to pet Oreo from Oreo’s owner. After that, she will slowly extend her fist for Oreo to sniff and will then gently pet her. The students also learn how to behave around aggressive dogs, mother dogs with their pups and dogs that are injured or frightened. They learn the body language of dogs and how to determine whether a dog is safe, friendly or should be avoided. It’s so special to see how this knowledge translates into their behavior in the school hallway with the dogs (they ask permission!) and their respect for the dogs in general.
Three BARCC therapy teams visited a local community college recently to greet the students as they prepared for finals. Our visit was a huge success with dozens of students stopping in to pet the dogs and talk about their studies. Here are the three dogs who participated – Alaska, Oreo and Betty Boop.
This past week, eight B.A.R.C.C. teams had the pleasure of meeting the families that attended a special literacy night at the local elementary school. Most of the teams met Santa before preparing to meet several hundred adults and children. Even though not all the children have the opportunity to read to our wonderful dogs, they were all excited to introduce their parents to the dogs from the R.E.A.D. program.
Recently a couple of our Pet Therapy teams visited at a nearby Nursing and Assisted Living Facility. Here is what they reported:
“Mary and I had a long hour visit at the facility today. Everything was perfect. We met outside and our dogs got acquainted and even met a lovely couple outside. I think we visited with 12 to 14 people and Mary saw many people she knew and relatives who were happy to see her and Scooby.
Scooby’s wagging tail and charm were a delight to all. A great afternoon.”
I guess this says it all!
This month, B.A.R.C.C. had the pleasure of evaluating 4 new dogs for pet therapy. These new teams will be active in the R.E.A.D. program at local grade schools, 4H programs and upcoming Stress Relief on college campuses. As some of our dogs grow older, they are less active in B.A.R.C.C., so we are thrilled to have younger therapy dogs on our roster. Anyone interested in learning more about B.A.R.C.C. and the training process for handler and pet are encouraged to attend one of our fall B.A.R.C.C. meetings at St. Paul Church in Mayville, WI on Saturday, October 14th and Saturday, November 11th. Meetings start with fellowship and sharing at 12:30 and official business at 1 PM.
B.A.R.C.C. is offering a one-day seminar for pet therapy handlers to prepare them for the Reading Education Assistance Dogs program. After completing this class, handlers can start the process of bringing the love of reading to primary school children. Therapy teams must observe an ongoing R.E.A.D. program at a library or school and be “mentored” by a current R.E.A.D. team. Presently, B.A.R.C.C. has more opportunities for R.E.A.D. programs in schools, but not enough teams to cover the need.
Participants need not be members of B.A.R.C.C. to enroll in the seminar.
The seminar is scheduled for Saturday, April 29th at the Horicon City Hall. The class will run from 9 AM to 4 PM. The cost of the class is $50. Each participant will receive the Intermountain Therapy Animals R.E.A.D. manual.
September is the time of year when our BARCC Teams, who participate in the Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D.) program at the local schools, prepare the fall schedules. BARCC has teams in many schools in Dodge and Waukesha Counties. Some of the schools have already had BARCC teams on campus to help young readers gain confidence and the love of reading. Some of the schools will start the R.E.A.D. program beginning in October. Most of the weekly visits to the schools will run until mid-December and then begin again after the new year for the spring semester.
To date, BARCC is scheduling visits in the following schools this fall:
- St. Mary’s Elementary in Mayville
- Parkview Learning Center in Mayville
- Mayville Middle School
- SAGES Charter School in Beaver Dam
- Plat Elementary in Richfield
- Richfield Elementary
- Theresa Learning Community
- Horicon Elementary
These teams just finished a pet therapy assignment and gathered for a group picture. How about those dogs? They were experts at bringing comfort and joy at this location.