It’s Official Rio’s A Therapy Dog!

It’s Official Rio’s A Therapy Dog!

Yesterday Rio got a very exciting package in the mail!  He got his Therapy Dog certificate and collar tag and I got our ID card and the TDinc membership handbook.

Rio's Therapy Dog Certificate!

Rio’s Therapy Dog Certificate!


I am so proud of him!  I absolutely knew he had it in him based on the thousands of people he’s greeted at various public events over the years but being that awesome dog in a clinical environment and having to be more stationary I knew would be a challenge for him.

Now that it’s official, I’m going to be working to find a facility to volunteer that will be a good fit for Rio.  I think I will volunteer a few places and see where Rio likes to work the best.  I am a firm believer that while therapy dogs should be sound enough to be able to work and function in most all environments, that they all have places that they enjoy more and/or where they excel.  Some dog and handler teams do their best work around children, some teams are best suited for hospice work, some prefer elderly folk in retirement facilities, and some enjoy working in rehabilitation/physical therapy offices.

I am going to contact some local facilities and see what places are interested in a therapy dog team visiting.  In the mean time I’m super excited to get Rio some Therapy Dog gear!  I want him to be clearly identified as a TD while on visits so people know they can pet him and so he’s identified as working in the facility.

I am not a huge fan of Therapy Dogs wearing vests… partially because I think it can confuse inexperienced handlers and the public that the dog is a Service Dog.  SDs have public access rights and are completely different from TDs–I don’t really want there to be any confusion or for a TD handler to intentionally or unintentionally misrepresent their dog as a SD.  Secondly, and more importantly in my own case, I think vests take away prime petting regions.  In watching the people pet Rio at his three visits, they mostly pet his neck, back, and shoulders–if he were wearing a vest a good portion of that area would be covered.  I’ve seen TD bandanas but I know Rio doesn’t really love bandanas and I didn’t really love the look of the ones I saw.

So, what does that leave me with?  That’s right, a fancy pants custom collar!  I will be ordering a new collar from my favorite collar store, Collar Mania, with Therapy Dog embroidered on it so that Rio will have a ‘work collar’ that he wears just for therapy dog visits.  I think a flashy embroidered collar will be perfect for Rio!

I will be sure to keep everyone up to date on our therapy dog adventures!

1 Comment
  1. Congratulations!!! I love the collar idea!

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