Monday, January 19, 2015

Therapy Dog

A lot of people ask me how and why I got my therapy license. As some of you may know, I had my worst episode of IVDD more than a year ago. It was very stressful and emotional and I wouldn't have gotten through it without the help of my family, friends and even strangers. I am all better now and very grateful that I am healthy. My human thought that the best way we can give back to the community is by volunteering. She knows I bring so much joy to people when they meet me in person. She cannot remember how she knew about therapy dogs because we didn't know of any therapy dogs before I registered to become one, I guess it's just meant to be.

My human started researching on the internet on how to become a therapy dog and she came across Therapy Dogs International's website. There was an upcoming test to become a therapy dog in San Diego but it was only limited. My human emailed Jean the contact person and she emailed back saying that we're lucky someone cancelled so there is a spot open for the 2:00 pm appointment (same time as the Chargers vs Cowboys football game). Jean said that they are looking for loving and giving dogs who want to interact with people. I think to myself, hmmm that seems easy enough, I am a natural when it comes to interacting with humans. But then she also mentioned that dogs have to know basic obedience commands such as sit, down, stay and come. Dogs have to walk on a loose leash without tugging and pulling. Dogs should know the leave it command and not eat food offered or off the floor. Dogs should be calm around other dogs and be good with children and comfortable with strangers. Yikes. There are so many things to remember. Luckily I was trained a little bit on how to sit, stay and lie down. We only had a week to prepare for the TDI test. The test is divided into 2 phases and 13 individual testing exercises. We practiced the basic commands but I wasn't sure how I would do when yummy food is offered right in front of my face.

Resting up for the big day.

The day of the testing comes and we went to the testing site which was at Pawsitive Teams. We were asked to bring in $20. $10 for the test and $10 for the use of the facility. When we got there we had to wait at the lobby and fill out forms while waiting for the group before us to finish with the testing. We heard a lady talking to one of the evaluators because she didn't pass the test and was asking how she and her dog can retake it. At that time we were getting a little nervous because we thought the test was just for formality, we didn't know that they were very strict and serious about it. Me and my human decided to talk to the other humans with their doggies. I made friends with some of the doggies and that relaxed me for a bit. Most of the dogs taking the test passed the Canine Good Citizen test. I didn't even know there is such a thing as a Canine Good Citizen, all I know is that I am a good American Citizen. Some of them even went to Therapy Dog Prep school, I didn't go to any dog school ever. We got even more nervous because all of them seemed prepared. I think one of the dogs was probably getting anxious too and just started barking the whole time while we were waiting.

I love making new friends.

The evaluators finally called us in to the testing area but they asked the human of the anxious dog to stay behind. They told the person that they cannot proceed with the testing and to just try again next time. They failed and the testing hasn't even started yet. Yikes! Now we are even more scared. We went on to proceed with the test and we were last in line. Surprisingly, I followed all commands given to me by my human. I was offered food by a pretend patient in bed and I didn't take it. Phew. There was a little boy running around, making a commotion and I didn't bark at him. Yay. Testing is done and they immediately gave us the results... I PASSED. We went back home, watched the rest of the Chargers game and we won against the Cowboys. It was an awesome day. My human submitted all the forms needed and a couple of weeks later, I finally got my official badge and ID as a therapy dog. Mission accomplished. I just have to renew my license every year. Now I can start volunteering and make people happy.


  1. Speedy why do you say human and not mom ?

    1. I don't want to sound too much of a mama's boy. :)

    2. You are too cute ♡