In 2005, my Pookha and I became an animal-assisted therapy team, registered with Delta Society’s Pet Partner® program. We started a visiting program at Sojourner, a shelter for women and children. I also learned of the Reading Education Assistance Dogs® program and felt this was a good match for us, as Pookha got along well with children. Our career together led us to working in 7 schools with special education programs for children with reading anxiety, cognitive and developmental disabilities, and students from the ages of 3 to 15 with autism. We also read with children through the library program, helped a District school nurse with her master’s project, worked with therapists and their clients at Children’s Hospital, visited at the Ronald McDonald House, and saw elderly people in their homes. It is the magical presence the dog brings to its relationships that is what works and is so inspiring. Doing this work with Pookha is one of the most personally satisfying things I have experienced. I have been a member of North Star Therapy Animals since its inception, and have had the honor of meeting many wonderful and dedicated people and animals.
Handler Name: Wendy