Meet Libby, the Therapy Dog!

Meet Libby, the Therapy Dog!

We have a therapy dog here on our campus! Have you met our precious Libby? Amy Hanson is her owner/handler and they consider Libby a family pet. She is a sweet, laid-back English cream golden retriever who has taken some extra training for therapy work. She is not registered as a therapy dog yet, as she has to be at least one year old before even being permitted to take the test. With the Elders and Council blessing, Libby has begun visiting a few of our shut-ins, participates monthly in the Reading with Rover program at the WB library, visits David's Star students occasionally and has had the 1st graders read to her, has attended a volleyball and basketball game, and visited KML during dismissal at the end of the day.

Therapy dogs come in all sizes and breeds. They are trained to provide comfort, affection and entertainment to people in nursing homes, hospitals, prisons, schools and retirement homes. These working dogs are often used in therapeutic environments such as assisting with teaching children experiencing learning disabilities and as stress-reducers with victims of accidents, crimes and natural disasters or other crisis’. Training required for a therapy dog designation varies, but it is much less rigorous than that of service dogs.
 
Therapy dogs are not service dogs — and are not protected by the ADA regulations. Public institutions may limit or prohibit access to a therapy dogA service or special assistance dog is specially trained to assist humans with disabilities and is allowed access to public institutions. They may provide important functions such as sight or hearing. Many service dogs also help companions cope with various mental conditions like PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and autism.
 
If you see Libby on campus and want to greet her, just ask Amy if you might pet her. A therapy dog and her handler want to greet people and interact but asking for permission is always a good idea! Aservice dog and their human partner will appreciate being able to continue the important work at hand! Again, asking for permission is a good idea!
 
Want to learn more? Go to: http://www.disabled-world.com/disability/serviceanimals/dog-rights.php#sthash.gymPIcM7.dpuf. We welcome Libby in our midst and thank Amy for her willingness to bring comfort, affection and entertainment in the context of our Lord’s love and care for us!