Logo courtesy of www.prescriptionpaws.org
Prescription Paws is a South Carolina-based Delta Society Pet Partner® affiliate that has human-dog teams that work together to promote animal-assisted therapy and activities. Each member must pass the strict screening and educational requirements to qualify for the national program.
The animal partners are the human members' personal pets. They train them to work safely and effectively with patients and they visit a variety of groups and facilities --- nursing home residents, hospice patients, children with disabilities, hospital patients and more!
My dog, Mona Mae, and I have been working over the last couple of years through obedience classes and on our own to prepare ourselves in the hopes that we'll be able to join Prescription Paws. She's such a little flirt and absolutely loves people so I knew from the very beginning she'd be great as a therapy dog.
I want to encourage anyone who's interested to please consider training to become a Pet Partner team. Now, I'm not going to sugar coat this for anyone: This is hard work! Every dog must be 100% trained, reliable and outgoing. The human member goes through hours of additional training on the program, and then the team as a whole must pass a comprehensive test. But I can assure everyone that all the time and effort is worth it. You get to join up with a great group of people, spend time with your dog and then of course there's the most important aspect - you have a chance to give back to your community in a fun and interesting way.
So if you're interested and want to know more about the program, please visit the Prescription Paws website. If you're outside the South Carolina area, please go here to find out what opportunities are available in your area.
So wish Mona Mae and I luck... we take our test this Sunday! We hope to pass on the first try but if we don't, no worries. We'll go again the next time around...