So many amazing things happen almost daily through our therapy dog program that it would be hard to share them all. However, I want to share about one of my favorite experiences and that is when a program or facility contacts us with a request for a team visit and I know right away that we’ve got just the right team. It’s such a fabulous feeling to know that we can fulfill a request and that the fit will be just right.
Last week, we were able to successfully launch a new therapy dog program at the King County Juvenile Detention Center because we had just the right team – Deneese and her Doberman Ricochet. Deneese has a background in law enforcement and has wonderful knowledge of the at-risk youth population, both what they are facing and what they need. Her dog Ricochet is fabulous and has the calm and loving demeanor necessary for this type of facility.
As soon as we received the request from the KCJD I knew I would reach out to Deneese. When I emailed her I quickly received an “I’M IN” response just as I had hoped.
It’s challenging to get started in this type of environment. There are extensive background checks and volunteer training, but Deneese knew what to expect and happily took it all on.
The first visit was a big success and both the residents and staff just loved meeting and sharing time with Deneese and Ricochet. I wish we could share photos, but for security and confidentiality reasons, that’s not possible.
We get new requests from all types of facilities and for all types events almost daily. If having the right team is one of my favorite experiences, one of my least favorite is turning an opportunity down because we don’t have any teams in that area or with the right skills to support it. That’s why GiveBIG and fundraising is so critical for us. We need to be able to get the word out and recruit and train as wide a variety of wonderful teams as possible. In the ideal world, our answer to any appropriate request would be, “we’ve go the team for you.”
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