LARPBO dog Ollie becomes Therapy Dog
by Emily Hansel (May 14 2014)
Emily Hansel and her gorgeous boy Ollie are now doing therapy visits at Children’s Hospital. We got Emily to give us a little insight into how they got there.
Why we did it
I was looking to do some charity work and since Ollie loves people so much, I thought therapy work could be a nice way to give back. I had never seen or known anyone to do this, so it took quite a bit of online research to figure out how to become a therapy team. All the while we continued to take Ollie to as many LARPBO Sherman Oaks classes as we could. We jumped at the chance to do the advanced class and it helped a lot to fine tune his obedience skills.
What was the most challenging?
The most difficult part for Ollie was during his test there was another dog in the room he was supposed to ignore. He REALLY wanted to go over and say “hi”.
How long did it take?
3 months, not including any training time! I had to do a “handlers only” class that was 8 hours long, a 4 hour orientation at the hospital, several trips to the hospital for a drug screening, TB tests, some booster shots and a half ton of paper work to fill out and sign. Ollie got off easy, I faxed his vet records over and he only had to do one test that was about 40 minutes. Lucky dog!
Ollie just turned 2 and he’s gone to LARPBO classes for about a year an a half now. He hasn’t had any other training, but from the time we got him at 4 months old we tried to take him anywhere we could to expose him to different types of people, sounds and smells (even LAX to pick up area!) I think that’s helped him a lot.
What’s it like?
There are many different therapy programs in our area, but we went with Pet Partners. We have been going to Childrens Hospital of LA and they have a full time Pet Therapy program that has been amazing to work with. The first 5 or 6 times you visit the hospital, they have a team member accompany you to help you learn what to do and where to go!
I was nervous bringing Ollie into patients’ room, and even more nervous letting him climb into bed with a child! If you know Ollie, he has a lot of energy and can get rambunctious but with his friendly disposition and the right training, he’s been great at the hospital. I keep him calm and divert his attention when he tries to steal kisses from the children. He brings lots of smiles and absolutely loves all the attention he gets!
Meet LARPBO Dogs & Peeps
These stories illustrates LARPBO’s part in keeping dogs home and out of shelters AND guiding owners to help dogs reach their potential. Please help us continue making a difference in the community. Click here to donate to our Shelter Intervention & Prevention Program so that we can continue our mission.
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- Rusty: Discarded “trash” to therapy dog
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- Wesley: Following Wesley