hoop. She sat up pretty. She even walked for ten whole steps on her hind legs. The crowd went wild. Everybody clapped and clapped, except for Lizzie, who held Buddy on her lap the whole time. She petted him and talked to him in case he got jealous again when Sweetie got all the attention.
Jamie clapped hardest of all. “She’s wonderful,” she said when the show was over. “So cute, so smart. Sweetie is exactly the kind of dog I have been looking for.”
“You?” Charles asked. “You mean
the person who was looking for a dog?”
“That’s right,” said Jamie. “Tate and I have been wishing for another member of the family, and I think Sweetie would be the perfect addition.”
“Really?” Charles felt a smile spread across his face. “You want to adopt Sweetie?”
Jamie nodded. “I’d like to train her fortherapy work, when she’s old enough. Sweetie will be the star of any hospital I bring her to. And because she’s a poodle, I don’t have to worry as much about patients being allergic to her.”
“Do you know she’ll need to be groomed regularly?” Lizzie asked.
Jamie nodded. “I’m used to that. I’ve learned how to do it myself, because Tate needs grooming, too.” Jamie reached out to pet Tate. “So, is it okay if I adopt her?”
“It’s more than okay!” Charles beamed. He knew that Jamie would be a wonderful owner for Sweetie. She would train her and love her and take excellent care of her. And Sweetie would love being a therapy dog. Every day she would meet and perform for new people — people who really appreciated her. It would be even better than being a circus dog. And who knew? Judging by the way Jamie and Rick were smiling at each other, Charles thought maybeRick would get to be part of Sweetie’s life after all.
Jamie patted her knee. “Up, Sweetie,” she called. And Sweetie scampered over and leapt, as light as a feather, into her new owner’s lap.
Did you know that petting a dog can make people healthier? Studies have shown that people’s blood pressure goes down when they stroke a dog. That’s just one of the many benefits therapy dogs bring to the people they visit.
Your dog does not have to be any special breed to be a therapy dog. Any dog over one year old can become certified to visit hospitals and nursing homes. The most important thing is for the dog to have the right personality. A good therapy dog loves to be around people. A therapy dog should be friendly, calm, confident, and gentle. Some therapy dogs do tricks or wear costumes, and others just give kisses or sit quietly with someone who needs company.
Most therapy dog organizations require a dog to pass its Canine Good Citizen test, then do some more special training and testing.
I have never had a poodle but I know that they are very special dogs. People who have poodles are crazy about them and often have more than one! My friend Annie loves her two black miniature poodles, Oggi and Pearl. They are so smart and funny and they love to curl up in your lap just like a cat would. And my friend Leda has two golden doodles, Pippa and Pogo. They love to play together. Even though they are only half poodle (the other half is golden retriever), they have to be groomed every ten weeks, just like poodles do.
Yours from the Puppy Place,
P.S. You can read more about therapy dogs, and the training they need, in
DON’T MISS THE PUPPY PLACE SPECIAL EDITION!
Here’s a peek at CHEWY AND CHICA!
What happened was this. First, there was a knock on the door. “Ms. Dobbins?” Andrew, the boy who worked at the front desk of the animal shelter, poked his head in. His cheeks were flushed pink and he stumbled over his words. “I — I think you might want to come see what just arrived.”
Ms. Dobbins stood up. “Thank you, Andrew,” she said.
There was something in Andrew’s face that made everybody else stand up, too, and follow Ms.