Local canines become certified therapy dogs
On Sunday afternoon, Jan. 22, 2012 local handlers and their dogs passed the TDI test to become Certified Therapy Dogs. Lisa Peterson was the instructor for the course.Therapy Dogs International (TDI®) is a volunteer organization dedicated to regulating, testing and registration of therapy dogs and their volunteer handlers for the purpose of visiting nursing homes, hospitals, other institutions and wherever else therapy dogs are needed.TDI registers all breeds of dogs. Some dogs have pedigrees, while others have been adopted from local shelters or are rescue dogs.To belong to Therapy Dogs International (TDI®) all dogs must be tested and evaluated by a Certified TDI Evaluator. A dog must be a minimum of one year of age and have a sound temperament. Each dog must pass a temperament evaluation for suitability to become a Therapy Dog, which includes the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen Test (CGC). The test will also include the evaluation of the dog’s behavior around people with the use of some type of service equipment (wheelchairs, crutches, etc.). It is a requirement that an annual Health Record Form is completed and signed by a licensed veterinarian.Studies have shown that a person holding or petting an animal will cause a lowering of blood pressure, the release of strain and tension and can draw out a person from loneliness and depression.