Hannah- the Tahanto therapy dog

Adorable golden doodle Hannah has been helping students all over the school with dog therapy. Her job is to provide affection, comfort, and love to people who need it, but not just any dog can be a therapy dog. Hannah had to go through special training and tests so that she could help us students at Tahanto.

Training

Dr. Trainor, Hannah’s owner, first got this golden doodle 3 and a half years ago. When she saw some kids with anxiety, she wanted to be able to bring Hannah in to school to help these kids. Soon, Hannah had begun her training. She had to be okay around children, adults, and crowds of people. Dr Trainor brought Hannah around with her almost everywhere so that the dog could practice her social skills with other people. Hannah also had to be calm around people with crutches, canes, wheelchairs, etc. Hannah had to be okay with people pulling her fur, people touching her, people with beards, hats, or mental illness. She also had to practice the basic commands, (sit, stay, etc) ignoring other dogs, or leaving a chew toy alone. To practice resisting stuff, Dr. Trainor would take Hannah to a pet store and walk up and down the treat aisle using the command “watch me” to direct Hannah’s attention to her owner.

The test

After about 2 years of hard work and training, 5 year old Hannah was ready to take the test that would approve her to be a therapy dog. She had to pass a test called “K-9 Good Citizen” where they would reenact different scenarios that a therapy dog might be in and see how Hannah does. With 30 tasks to do, Hannah had her work cut out for her, but once she started, she was on a roll. She was so close to passing with a perfect score but with one of the tasks, she did not succeed. A therapy dog had to be able to complete all of the tests with a perfect score, therefore, Hannah could not be a therapy dog. Although she did not pass the first time, She kept training with Doctor Trainor and soon was ready to retry the test. This time, she passed with flying colors, which allowed her to finally be a therapy dog.

Now Hannah comes in to Tahanto to help kids de-stress before big exams, or just be the loving, adorable dog that everyone looks forward to seeing. Hannah is available in the counseling office, so listen to the morning announcements to see if they announce anything about Hannah being around. If you ever see Hannah around the school, don't be afraid to say hello and as always, Hannah will be sure to give you lots of love back.

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