St. John Ambulance is starting a new Therapy Dog Program to bring the benefits of pet companionship to those who are isolated, ill or residing in long term care facilities.
To become a volunteer, all potential Therapy Dogs must pass the St. John Ambulance TD evaluation. This involves assessing the dog's responses to situations that he/she may encounter during visitations. This is not an obedience test, more of a socialization test. They will be looking at things like how your dog reacts to going into different places, are they frightened of wheelchairs, walkers, etc., are they calm and gentle, do they bark all the time, etc. I'd love to volunteer, however both my dogs would fail all the above examples! :)
So if your dog is a little more "balanced" than mine are, and you are interested in looking into the program further, please contact the Community Services Co-ordinator at (403) 327-2847. And let us know if you do sign up as we'd love to hear more about the program first hand.