03 Aug Meet Hendrix! The Therapy Dog in Training
I’d like to introduce you to Hendrix. He’s a 20 week old staff who came to live with us at Let’s Talk nearly a month ago now.
Hendrix was the runt of his litter and not expected to survive due to some complications at birth. He was hand reared and has gone on to make leaps and bounds in his development. He is now one very happy and healthy young boy who loves chewing mummy’s shoes and slippers!
Hendrix has learnt to sit and give paw. He can wait for a treat and is starting to master sleeping in his own bed and laying down on command. He’s certainly keeping us busy here over the summer and we start puppy classes next week. Be sure to check back in for updates!
Let’s Talk chose Hendrix as a therapy dog because staffs learn best from non verbal communication. He responds really well to signs that I am using to help him understand what I would like him to do! Hendrix will hopefully learn these commands and over time be introduced to working with me in therapy sessions when he has passed all of his training.
We’ve been visiting parks and children and having them play with him. He’s incredibly friendly with others right now which makes walking a long process as we have to stop and say hello to absolutely everyone! Hendrix also likes watching wheels on scooters and bikes and pushchairs…when he sees one he likes to follow so he’s helping keep me fit too this summer!
We visited the park with friends this week and Hendrix wouldn’t walk until everyone was in front of him. If he sensed someone had fallen behind, he stopped, sat and waited until they caught back up with us. I think he might be a little sheep dog in the making which will be helpful when we have group therapy sessions to keep everyone together! Hendrix even won over the heart of a little boy who was scared of dogs. By the end of the afternoon Hendrix and he were firm friends, fetching the ball and having hand kisses (licking)!
Let’s Talk are researching lots of information about the use of dogs as therapy aides. We strongly believe in the connection that a child should have with the natural world and think that pets, gardens and growing food is a wonderful way to help our special children to develop life long skills and regulate after a busy day in the social world. I’ve noticed a calmness on myself since having; Hendrix. If I come home on edge after a busy day, Hendrix shows me by responding to my non verbal communication….he chases his tail and finds it hard to settle. Once I’ve recognised this, we sit together and regulate (calm) which then makes our evening much more fun.
We will keep you updated on Hendrix and his progress through therapy dog training