Garvin’s Divine Canine teams are a group of dedicated volunteers who bring joy and comfort to those who need it. We enjoy visiting a wide variety of facilities, such as hospitals, nursing homes, schools, juvenile detention centers and libraries. All of our teams are graduates of the Therapy Dog Training course taught at Garvin’s Pet Plaza and Training Center and are registered Delta Pet Therapy Teams.
Sound like fun? It is! Volunteering with your dog is a great community service – but it’s also a great experience for you and your dog. You’ll build a stronger bond, learn to recognize and address stress signals, and most importantly, you’ll spend quality time sharing the love with others.
We’d love to have you join us! To find out more about our next Therapy Dog Training course, contact us today!
Therapy Dog Training Course
Bring your dog and join us for this 8-session course at Garvin’s Pet Plaza and Training Center. Classes are small to guarantee individual attention. The course combines classroom learning/training with field trips and a registering practical exam (required to volunteer in most locations).
Cost of the class is $239.00 which includes a study manual and practical testing for certification.
During this course, you and your dog will:
· Build a deeper bond
· Recognize and address signs of stress
· Learn to interact with different types of people and groups
· Determine if your team is a good fit for therapy work
· Be prepared for the physical and mental challenges of a visit
Obedience training is suggested but not required. Contact us today for more information on the next Therapy Dog Training course.
Recent Article about Therapy Dog Training
Is Reading Going to the Dogs?
By Jason Winsky
Originally posted on TheArizonan.com – (Click here for original article)
Left to right: Ariel, Destiny and Miguel Ortega look at the pictures in Dr. Seuss’s “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish” as they take turns reading to Schotzi the dog.
Today’s children live in a fast pace world. Television, video games and the Internet are always encouraging them to speed up, to move faster. Patience, it seems, is no longer a virtue.
Children are now learning to read in ever expanding class sizes. A key component of their education in reading is learning to do so out loud, to an audience. But some students fall behind; perhaps they learn at a slower level, or sometimes stutter over words. Some kids have no problem reading at all; they simply lack the confidence to read out loud to their peers.
The Pima County Public Library System has a program to assist children of all ages who love to read, called “Read to a Dog,” during which kids can select a book and read it out loud to a trained therapy dog. The dogs, although they come in all shapes and sizes, share one thing: a love of children.
At a recent session of the program at the Dusenberry Library (at River/Craycroft), Schotzi, a large poodle, was making new friends and hearing new stories. Schotzi, which is German for “sweety,” is a specially trained therapy dog who loves nothing more than listening to children. “This program gives children who are beginning to read a chance to read to an audience that doesn’t judge or correct them, it can transform a child who is shy about reading out loud,” said Meg Beer, the Children’s Librarian at the Dusenberry Library.
Erin Provancha, Schotzi’s trainer and handler, works at Garvins Divine Canines, and explained that therapy dogs are certified through a group called the Delta Society. She has taken Schotzi to classrooms, libraries, hospitals and juvenile detention centers.
A recent study conducted by Tufts University found that “students who read to the dogs experienced a slight gain in their reading ability and improvement in their attitudes toward reading, as measured on the Curriculum-Based Measurement (CBM) and Elementary Reading Attitude Survey (ERAS), respectively—while those who read to people experienced a decrease on both measures.” The results, published in Science Daily, August of 2010, compared a group of students who read to one another, and a group who read to dogs. In the first group, a third of the children failed to complete the program. Not a single student failed to finish the reading to dogs program.
Back in the Dusenberry meeting room, Miguel, Ariel and Destiny Ortega crowd around to read to Schotzi. Destiny has selected her favorite Dr. Suess book, and Schotzi listens intently to her as she reads out loud. In a light hearted moment, she turns the book around to show Schotzi the picture inside. “They just love it, especially Destiny,” said their mother Yvonne.
The Pima County Public Library System offers the Read to a Dog program every Friday afternoon. To learn more, visit library.pima.gov, and to learn more about therapy dogs, visit garvinsdivinecanines.com.
Originally posted on TheArizonan.com (Click here for original article)
Why I participate in Pet Therapy
The Pet Partners Team Training Course offered through Delta Society was so much fun and a great learning experience for me, and my dog, Earl. Once the course was completed (and we aced the test), Earl and I are now registered as a Pet Partner Team and members of the Delta Society. Prior to taking the course, I had enrolled in an Obedience Class with Garvin’s Pet Training. Had I not participated and worked hard and diligently with Earl on his obedience skills, we would never have passed the certification process. Pet Partners have to be well trained and confident – there is a lot at stake working your dog with other people in new settings.
This registration enables us to visit hospitals, nursing homes, children’s homes, schools, libraries – almost any institution you can think of. We chose to work in a hospital setting, working in the Rehab/Occupational Therapy ward. Earl and I helped patients with balance, range of motion, endurance, mobility, coordination and memory – all performed with the aid of a Frisbee, a tennis ball and a leash. How fun is that!
On a slightly more serious note – I like to think we help to establish a sense of purpose, companionship and entertainment in the patients’ lives. Volunteering to help another person, to see them smile, to speak, to walk, to laugh is priceless. To do this with my partner Earl makes me very proud. Having a really close and deep relationship with him makes me a better person. Earl is a medium for helping others overcome their disabilities. He’s more than just a dog – he’s my Partner.
In the spring of 2008, my little yellow Labrador retriever puppy, Molly, and I went to Karyn Garvin to be trained. My husband and I are Garvin Pet Training veterans, having hired Karyn’s firm to work with us and our now deceased dogs years ago.
After the first or second session with Karyn, she commented that perhaps Molly came from a therapy line, because she was very laid back for a puppy. Right then without realizing it, Karyn had planted a seed in my mind. That summer by chance, my husband came across a magazine article about therapy dogs. We cut it out and saved it and thought “one day”.
Last year, while working in an obedience training group run by Karyn, she mentioned that Garvin’s Pet Training now had therapy dog training classes. Molly and I signed right up!
Kate Titus was our trainer and she was phenomenal. I learned so many new and different things about working with Molly – like how to tell when she’s stressed and how to “help” Molly figure out what I am asking from her. Working with Molly to become a therapy dog team has made our human-pet bond so much stronger.
Garvin’s Divine Canines provides the support of other pet therapy teams. Freda Blake was so great in helping me navigate the certification paperwork and assisting me with signing up to volunteer at Tucson Medical Center. Now, nine months of the year Molly and I visit adult patients at TMC once a week. It is an amazing volunteer experience!
We believe that without Karyn and her team’s guidance and training abilities, that our Molly, while a very well-trained pet, would have never taken the leap to become a therapy dog.
Julie Darling & Molly