Crest Ink - Volume 31 - Number 03

Evee the Therapy Dog by Cheri Kemp Meet Evee the Therapy dog. June Danekas (Production B) is owned by Evee the Catahoula. A Catahoula is an American breed named after the Catahoula Parish in Louisana and the only breed of dog to have historically originated in the State of Louisana. June was rescued by Evee about 3 years ago, when Evee was about 9 months old, and the two have been inseparable since. Not long after June and Evee were brought together, a woman who worked at a Hospice center saw the two of them. The woman comment- ed to June that Evee had gentle eyes. This prompted June to ask her questions about how dogs are used to comfort people in

hospice or nursing homes. And that lead to Evee the Therapy Dog. Therapy dogs must be trained to get used to having their ears, fur or tails pulled and not to react to this type of treatment. The dogs are also trained to keep their heads off the floor so if there happens to be medication that has fallen on the floor the dog will not eat it. They also are trained on how to approach someone in a wheelchair or on crutches. After completing specific training to be a therapy dog, Evee and June had to then go through an addition- al process to become certified as a therapy dog and handler. In all, this process took about six months. “When I put my volunteer tag on and put Evee’s therapy dog tag on her and use the command ‘visit’ Evee knows she is in working mode. I take Evee to the library in Oregon for the open reading time with the children and they love Evee. I also take her to nursing homes where the residents just love her. I try to go once a week and especially at holiday time because the nursing home residents do not seem to get many visitors during holidays. “The school for disgruntled children where Evee visits wrote me the nicest letter. They said Evee was an old soul in a young body and knew just what everyone needed. My next step is for us to be trained to go to hospice homes, which requires additional special training.” June is willing to speak to anyone who is thinking about going through t his process with their dog. June said “I find joy in seeing Evee make people smile.” You may have heard of therapy dogs, service dogs and emotional support (comfort) dogs. These are each a differ ent classification for dogs. Service Dog: A service dog is an assistance dog that has been specially trained to help someone who has a disability. A service dog may accompany the handler in to a public place while the dog is work ing. A service dog’s attention is to be only on its handler. Service dogs are not to be petted when they are working. Therapy Dog: These dogs are trained to complete different types of tasks. The trainer is the only handler of this dog. Their responsibilities are to provide psychological or physiological therapy to individuals other than the han dler. Typically they visit hospitals, schools, nursing or hospice homes. Being petted and hugged is their specialty. Therapy dogs are encouraged to interact with a variety of people while the dog is on duty. Emotional Support Dog: An emotional support animal supplies their owner or others with therapeutic benefits through companion ship. Emotional support dogs have also been used after traumatic events that may occur.

Savannah Fagan, Benefits Department Administrative Assistant, has volunteered to write ar- ticles for the Crest Ink. We look forward to her additions to our newsletter. You can read her very first article about the Crest Foods Give Back program in this issue! Welcome, Savannah! Welcome to the Crest Ink Staff

18 Crest Ink July, August & September 2019

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