• This is pretty cool, I just got this from my breeder friend Susan (Apu Basenjis) in NY. Below is her message and see attached pics. These are 2 of her 9 Basenjis.

    **These are iPhone photos taken at the Hudson Valley Senior Residence. Scarlet & Fern are now licensed Therapy Dog International therapy dogs. They are with Henriette, a favorite of mine, who is 97. They're supervising the nail polish clinic.

    Shortly afterwards, Fernie stole a stuffie from the Bingo prizes, and was told she could keep it.

    Later on, in the hallway, the woman who is sitting behind Henriette stopped and asked me if the girls liked coming there.

    Answering her own question, "Of course they do, they get all the attention."

    Adding, "now you get the inmates's version. Life here is dull, the same day to day, and your visits with the dogs brighten our lives, especially the dogs, more than you can ever know."

  • 🙂 That's so cool and precious!

    When the time comes when I have to live in senior housing, I would hope there would be basenjis who would come visit (and often)! 😃

  • Houston

    wow, that warmed my heart so much. What a special treat for the elderly as well as for Scarlet and Fern.


  • I think everyone needs animals in their lives to make things easier.
    I am delighted our beloved dogs can do this.

  • my boys love going! diggie and i are going to the alzheimer's facility thursday. recently when we went we were told we could NOT take pics because the the new privacy laws.

  • Great photos, and great for the pups and the old folks.

    We chatted with a blind woman on BART a few weeks ago. She had a beautiful guide dog with her and after she got off my husband said: "Can you imagine a basenji as a guide dog? Only if you wanted to go wherever they wanted to take you. And heaven help you if a squirrel happens by." :p

    So the Therapy Dog title made me smile.

  • How does one become a therapy dog? My Gossy has a great temperment and gets along with people really well. This sounds like something we could do together.

  • @wizard:

    How does one become a therapy dog? My Gossy has a great temperment and gets along with people really well. This sounds like something we could do together.

    To become a therapy dog you have to get the dog certified. Look on the web as there's programs to do that around your area. There's different levels of certification as well.

  • @wizard:

    How does one become a therapy dog? My Gossy has a great temperment and gets along with people really well. This sounds like something we could do together.

    Start calling around to your local hospitals and nursing homes and ask if they have a pet therapy program and what it involves. (You might have to explain what you mean to get a good answer. lol) Some places require certification through a therapy dog company, others do not. They might just want to meet and evaluate the dog or have their own assessment test of some kind.

    There are several therapy organizations, the most common is TDI. http://www.tdi-dog.org/ If you look at the links on the left, there is one for "upcoming tests" and that will give you an idea of where you can get them certified. There are no preliminary requirements for doing the test, but most dog training clubs offer some kind of therapy dog/CGC prep classes or just a general obedience class can help. TDI uses the AKC canine good citizen test plus 4 extra testing criteria. (having to pass by food without eating, being around kids and hospital equipment, etc.) Once you feel your dog has the social skills and obedience training to take the test, you can contact the test sites and sign up. They usually run around $20 to take the test. Once you pass, to become certified you have to have a thorough vet check with testing and proof of vaccinations, and also sign something that's like a code of ethics.

    The big thing about being certified is that then TDI provides insurance for wherever you visit in case something were to ever happen when you're doing your visits. However there is a big list of rules you must follow to be in compliance with the insurance, like only using specific collars (no chokers) and not using your certification to get your dog into places, etc. (therapy dogs are NOT service dogs) A facility that does not require certification from TDI or the like will probably have their own testing procedure and rules because I'm sure they'll have to have insurance coverage too. So TDI would be a great thing to do, but contact your local facilities first because you may not have to go that route.

    All my kids are TDI therapy dogs, it's a lot of fun. I used to visit a local hospital, but since I moved I haven't had time to figure out where to go around here and set something up. So we need to redo our certification, ugh. It's hard for them to pass the separation from mommy part. lol

    I never took pictures because I didn't think it was appropriate where we were, and with it not being the same people like at a nursing home. But Susan has some other nice ones on her website that she's shared over the years. http://www.apubasenjis.com/TherapyBasenjis.html

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