Here are some information I got from the Dr. Dog website.
The two goals of
- To provide those in need with social contacts, motivation to regain physical strength, aids to therapy sessions and opportunities to connect with man's best friends, our pet dogs.
- To educate the society as a whole to recognize the significance of animal companions to men and to show respect for any living life by promoting animal rights and animal welfare, and hence helping to resolve the stray animal problems.
All dogs must go through a strict screening and vigorous training process to become a Dr. Dog. They have to pass the health and hygiene examination, obedience training evaluation and the “Dr. Dog Screening Test” which is a therapy dog screening test adopted from the Delta Society.
The Screening Test focuses on testing the dog's overall stability in all conditions as well as how the dog behaves around other dogs and people. After the dogs pass all the screening tests, their owners are required to finish therapy dog handler workshops and hands-on practical training before the owner-dog teams are certified as Dr. Dog team volunteers.
The obedience training comes in 3 stages, Basic, Intermediate and Advanced. It sounds a lot like the CGC (Canine Good Citizen) classes that my friends in The States go to. The entire process takes about four months and I heard that the passing rate is very low, but I promise I will put my best paw forward. I have heard many amazing and heart warming stories about Dr. Dogs at work and I will be sharing more about the program once I start school, so watch this space!
If you are interested in volunteering for a good cause and sharing the joy of your dog with others, I urge you to sign up for a similar therapy dog program in your country, I am sure you will find it very rewarding. Here is a picture of the future "Dr. Dino". Hee Hee!