Ace and Mickey have been working very hard with their trainer/owner, Tya to accomplish some great things while the Pandemic has kept them unable to be out in the public working with their friends.
In 2019, Golden Hill Ace, Mender of Hearts- "Ace" went to obedience school for 6 weeks and gained his Canine Good Citizen Title Certificate through the American Kennel Club along with his Trick Dog Title Certificate. He also completed the requirements and was certified as half of a Pet Therapy Team through Alliance of Therapy Dogs to be a therapy dog along with his owner/handler. Just recently, Golden Hill Kicky Mickey- "Mickey" also completed the requirements and was certified as half of a Pet therapy Team with his owner/handler through Alliance of Therapy Dogs. Ace and Mickey and I have kept busy through the Pandemic staying in practice for when we will be able to go back out on our therapy visits with the public once again. We have done several virtual therapy visits over ZOOM and have read stories and visited with the elderly and children and had some really great visits that were meaningful and helped to cheer people up during this time of uncertainty and time of being quarantined.
This last month, Both Ace and Mickey became Reading Education Assistance Dogs TM through a program of Intermountain Therapy Animals. [R.E.A.D.] program improves children's reading and communication skills by employing a powerful method: reading to a dog-but not just any dog. R.E.A.D. dogs are trained, tested, registered, liability-insured therapy dogs who volunteer with their owner/handlers are a team, going to schools, libraries and many other settings as reading companies for children. When these special dogs come to hear children, it's fun! And that makes all the difference. So you say, why dogs? Learning to read is often less about intellectual limitations than about overcoming fears and being interested. As you may recall from your own schooldays, fear can paralyze intelligence. Animals are ideal reading companions because they:
Help increase relaxation and lower blood pressure
do not judge, laugh or criticize
allow children to proceed at their own pace
are less intimidating than peers
let the child become the tutor
R.E.A.D. is happening all over the world in elementary schools, libraries, preschools and childcare facilities, after-school programs, healthcare facilities, and many other places.
The participating kids are making enormous strides in reading and communication skills while along the way it is building their self-esteem, confidence and social skills. The bonus benefits are better performance in other subjects, improvement in class participation and attendance and even personal hygiene.
When children accomplish their individual goals as set in the program, they receive brand new books to keep which are "pawtographed" by their four-footed reading companions-no small reward! This is a great program that was started 20 years ago, with more than 6,000 therapy teams and it has grown to all 50 states and 25 countries around the world, and it keeps growing because it works-awakening the love of reading and books for children everywhere.
Ace and Mickey and I look forward to sharing our love of books and helping others once it is safe to get out and about in our community once again! Until then, we are still available virtually! Send us an email to schedule a time at firstname.lastname@example.org