It was hard when writing this blog to decide if the story is about two dogs or if the story is about their owners. It’s both.
Linda and Joe Maday retired three years ago in Richland, Washington. They were looking for a meaningful activity and a good way to spend their retirement time. They love their dogs and decided to sign up for a Canine Good Citizen class. Their two Shih-Tzus, “Dani” (Pien Ji’s Beautiful Dangerous) and “Malo” (Pien Ji’s Bad to the Bone) did extremely well in the CGC class.
Linda and Joe had fun training together and the dogs loved it. The Madays wanted to continue working with their dogs beyond Canine Good Citizen. They decided their next goal would be to have the dogs trained, tested, and registered as therapy dogs. Dani and Malo were registered with Love on a Leash, and since then, both have also earned the AKC Community Canine title (advanced CGC or CGCA).
And, when new AKC Therapy Dog titles were announced on July 1, 2014, Linda and Joe sent in the applications for AKC’s new Therapy Dog Novice (THDN) title. Since the applications arrived in the same envelope, Dani and Malo shared the distinction of being the first dogs to earn the THDN title. The THDN requires that the dog and owner complete at least 10 therapy visits.
Malo and Dani work in assisted living facilities, Alzheimer’s units, at the local library, and at the local Veterans’ Clinic. One of their therapy assignments that is a little more unique is being a part of an inaugural program on the campus of Washington State University. During final exam weeks, WSU arranges for therapy dogs to visit the college students to help reduce anxiety and stress.
Joe and Linda report that Dani and Malo always look forward to going to work. What better job is there than putting smiles on peoples’ faces?!
For more information on Love on a Leash, see: http://www.loveonaleash.org/
For more information on AKC Therapy Dog titles, see: http://www.akc.org/akctherapydog