New puppy c̵o̵m̵i̵n̵g̵ ̵s̵o̵o̵n̵! is here!

New Puppy is here! We'll train her to be a therapy dog. Stay-at-home orders have created some surprising turns of events for everyone—and it’s no exception for me either.

As many of you know, in addition to being a dog trainer, I am a licensed independent social worker and certified therapist. I’ve maintained a private practice over the years through TalkSpace, and the recent events surrounding stay-at-home orders and the pandemic have caused an increase in individuals seeking online counseling sessions. As the sessions have increased, I’ve been collaborating with other therapists more, and conversations around the usefulness of animals in therapy have come up over and over again. Hearing from so many fellow counselors about how helpful a trained therapy dog could be, the light bulb went on for my next project: raising and training a dog who will be highly functional in a therapy setting!

So I’ve coordinated to receive a new Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, which is due to arrive soon, and I’m eagerly looking forward to collaborating with this young pup to develop functionality not just as an emotional-support presence to patients, but to work together to develop specific behaviors that can enhance the therapeutic alliance between provider and patients, and assist with specific therapy services.

It’s really exciting to bring together two important components of my life—dog training and counseling. I can’t wait for the first steps of this new adventure, and to share it with you along the way!

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