In this episode (018), I talk with Karen Armsey, the head of H.A.B.I.T (Human Animal Bond In Tennessee) about therapy dogs and how it’s a win all around for the dogs, the dog parents, and the people who benefit from getting to interact with the dogs. We talk about how to get started with volunteering with your dog, how doing this work together improves the bond with your dog and enriches your dog’s life, and the different environments in which therapy dogs can be found. Karen shares some heartfelt stories of what a massive difference animal-assisted therapy dogs make in the lives of so many humans undergoing various forms of stress. Resources are provided on how to get started if you are interested in exploring this fun and meaningful way of giving back.
- Karen Armsey of introduces herself and her work with H.A.B.I.T.
- Karen explains the differences among animal-assisted therapy dogs, service dogs, and emotional support dogs.
- Karen and I discuss incredible stories of dogs in action while serving as animal assisted therapy dogs.
- We discuss vaccinations and what might be required for your dog to partake in animal assisted therapy in various environments.
- We talk about breeds and ages of dogs – find out the scoop.
- Does your dog have the “heart” for this type of work? This work isn’t just for dogs with exceptional obedience. Rather, they must have the heart for it and they can always learn better “manners.”
- Hear about how dogs like certain environments/placements, but not others.
- How to ready your dog for being an animal-assisted therapy dog.
- Have you ever wondered if “treats” are used on therapy visits?
- We talk about dog aggression and how it doesn’t necessarily disqualify dogs from doing therapy work. Check out the story of my dog, Gizmo, regarding dog aggression. (He’s a sweet little guy, but has an occasional aggressive moment.)
- Discover how to get started with volunteering with your dog. Karen suggests other organizations if you are located outside of Tennessee.
Treats For You:
Here is the direct link to H.A.B.I.T.’s website – click here.
If you’d like to join H.A.B.I.T.’s Facebook page, click here.
Karen also mentioned Pet Partners and Therapy Dogs International, if you are not located in Tennessee.
Here is the link to Pet Partners – click here.
Here is the link to Therapy Dogs International – click here.