A Story

In Memory of Honey Girl 

Bob and Cindy Turino Present:

Making of a Therapy Dog

Honey had a rough start to life, she was found in a dumpster with her eyes still closed. A neighbor rescued her and bottle-fed her until she was reafor a new home. Now she’s a vivacious little dog who likes to beat up on the Jack Russells and Tom the Corgi.

Follow her step-by-step as she prepares to become a Comfort Caring Canine Therapy Dog.

GOOD DOG

A great way to start training your potential therapy dog is to expose your dog to all kinds of experiences as early as possible. At age 15 weeks she goes to our nephew’s birthday party. She gets passed around to everyone, both kids and adults. She loves it.

At 5 1/2 months, Honey is still sweet. She seems to know when she can play rough and when it’s time to settle down. She knows she can play rough with Maggie, but not Scooge or Marty, and that Tom doesn’t play at all.

At 6 months Honey goes to the beach. She walks for almost 4 miles on the boardwalk. She wanted to meet everyone she saw. She did meet several people, kids and adults, who gave her hugs and kisses. She’s very charismatic.

Honey is going to attend obedience classes this summer. This is a prerequisite to becoming a therapy dog. Her “sister” Maggie Pickens will be coming along too. We hope to test Honey this fall.

Honey has passed basic obedience. During her classes she was very distracted by all the smells and noises around her. I guess when you’re that small, you need to keep aware of what’s going on around you. However, she did approach even the larger dogs with a wagging tail. She’s very friendly with both man and beast.

Honey was evaluated September 29, 2001. She passed temperament but failed obedience. She just couldn’t sit and stay that long. We practiced at home but there were too many distractions at the test. But not to worry. Honey will be attending pre-novice classes and practicing more at home. Then Honey will be re-evaluated at the next evaluation for obedience only.

It takes practice and hard work for both dog and handler but it is worth it.

Honey is a therapy dog! She passed the obedience test December 9th. We are so proud of her. Christmas Eve she went on her first visit to Cathedral Village. She was a big hit. She danced around like a little ballerina in the Nutcracker. She made a lot of people happy that day and that’s what being a therapy dog is all about.

IN THE DOGHOUSE

We’re convinced that Honey thinks she’s a Jack Russell. She plays ball, digs holes in the garden, and chases squirrels and cats. We’re not sure what she would do it she ever caught one.

Our back yard looks a mess. Honey drags around bamboo all over the yard. She pulls debris out of the compost pile. And one by one she takes pine bark from our shade garden and places it on our walkway. Why? We guess she’s being creative.

Honey may occasionally end up “in the doghouse” but that just goes to show you that therapy dogs aren’t perfect, but they are great, fun-loving, and sometimes a little mischievous.

Since last week Honeygirl is waiting at the Rainbow Bridge for Bob and Cindy