The journey from rescue to Therapy Dog
Pepper came to me around April, 2011, as a rescue. I really wasn't looking for another dog, and was very hesitant to bring a younger, untrained animal into my geriatric Pug's life; but when I saw the conditions this poor little guy was living in, I couldn't resist giving him a chance. And, it all turned out for the best. Jazzy, my Pug, no longer felt the need to be strong, and gracefully moved on after several months.
Pepper was just a few months shy of 7 years old when he came into our lives. Completely untrained, he was nonetheless, very sweet. The bigger problem was that he had no experience with other animals or people. He simply didn't know how to respond to another animal, or a person outside of his very tight little circle. This was compounded by his allergies to grass (think dog park) and fleas. One flea bite will leave the poor little guy in a complete frenzy.
Slowly, we began his rehabilitation. We started with a new look.
After getting a new look, Pepper started his schooling. Being the smart little guy that he is, he quickly learned his basics.
Learning social skills was our next challenge, and has been Pepper's biggest challenge. The dog park left him weak in the knees the first few times he went. But, slowly he got accustomed to meeting new dogs and making a few friends.
The more time I spend with Pepper, the more I appreciate him. He's loyal, smart, loving and soulful, wrapped up in a cute, cuddly package. At a certain point in our journey together, it struck me that Pepper would make a great therapy dog! So, our focus changed a bit. In order to be a therapy dog, the dog must pass his Canine Good Citizen test. Pepper's first attempt fell flat - he soared where I was afraid he'd fail, and he failed where I was sure he'd do well. But on another try, he got to don his Therapy Dog vest.
Pepper's been seeing clients since February, 2012. Request that he be present for your session to find out what a little extra expert loving can bring to your experience!