We're so glad you're here!
Our mission is to help people like you decide if you want your dog to be a Therapy Dog, and if it’s right for you, to make it the process as easy as possible!
Let’s dive right in!
It is only as difficult as your dog is! If your dog can be trained to be well-behaved and controllable, then this is a breeze.
If your dog is too jumpy or just too difficult to control, then you might need to do a lot of training… and we can help with that!
If your dog is a good fit, then the actual process isn’t too complicated, and we lay it out below.
Doing Therapy Dog visits are just like any other volunteer opportunity.
After you get tested and certified, you can make as many visits as you want, to as many places as would like to have you!
On the other hand, you can always do just a handful of visits a year.
To stay certified, we require FOUR visits a year in order to keep in practice.
First, fill out the Interested Handler contact form here on our website.
That will give us some basic information about you, and the questions will be guiding you to see if this is an achievable goal for you and your dog!
If you’ve filled out the Contact Form and are still interested, read over the Behavior Guideline descriptions.
You’ll see that we use two different Certifying Organizations, one very professional and strict, and one a bit more informal.
Now that you’ve told us who you are, and you think your dog is, or could become, well-trained enough to become a certified Therapy Dog, come meet us in person!
At the meeting you’ll get to do a few things. You’ll be able to start informally testing yourself and your dog as to your level of training.
Also, we can assist you and your dog with any more training you might need.
And lastly, when you’re ready we can arrange a formal test!
By now you’ll be familiar with the Behavior Goals for both you and your dog, and when you’re ready, you’ll take an in-person Certification Test here in town!
Once you’re certified as a Handler/Dog Therapy Team, you’re free to do Therapy Dog visits.
We’ll be supplying you with a list of all the River Valley institutions we’ve identified that welcome Therapy Dog visits.
We’ll also supply you with any site-specific information—days and hours they prefer visits, any special training or certification they require, etc.
And any time you run across a new place that welcome Therapy Dog visits, let us know and we’ll add it to our list!