Angie from the beginning was a curious, extremely energetic people-loving puppy. We knew she was special, easily passing AKC Canine Good Citizen and eager to do more.
She became a certified therapy dog with Paws'itive Teams in San Diego in 2012, earning AKC "Advanced" therapy dog title (THDA) in 2015 and AKC Therapy Dog "Excellent" (THDX) in January 2017. She is also certified with Love on a Leash which is a national organization.
Angie works with special needs high school students helping them cope with their challenges as well as university students who are stressed during exam times.
She visits libraries with Paws for Reading programs set up for children to gain more confidence reading. She loves the children and seniors as well by visiting a local Adult Day Care Center.
Perhaps her most significant contribution is helping our military participants with the program, CICR (Canine Inspired Community Reintegration). She has been chosen among other outstanding therapy dogs for this program.
She senses she is working the moment her scarf goes - on as she is handled by the participant, visiting locations throughout San Diego chosen to help build the participant's confidence in stressful situations through interaction with a therapy dog.
Situations include shopping in a crowded environment where going down an aisle to pass strangers can cause stress for the participant. Angie senses this and the person is able to overcome the challenge.
After successfully completing the shopping trip with Angie, many have remarked with surprise that they were able to overcome their stress, saying "Angie's got my back."
Each series consists of six weekly sessions. It is heartwarming to see the transition from the first meeting to the last. After working with a therapy dog, such as Angie, many of the participants go on to apply for a service dog of their own. Angie has been regularly working in this program for nearly five years, helping nearly twenty "wounded warriors".
When Angie was still a puppy, we remarked that she really needed a job to make the best of her abundant energy and loving nature. Everyone agrees that she has definitely found her niche with Therapy Dog work.