Troupe Member of the Month - Wendy Waddick, Ellie and Louie
Wendy has been a dedicated member of the PAWSitive Therapy Troupe since 2012. Over the years, she has had twelve Shelties that have been therapy dogs (including six since 2012 who have been members of the Troupe). Wendy’s current therapy dogs are Ellie, a 5-year-old female Bi-Blue Sheltie and Louie, a 3-year-old male Tri-colored Sheltie. She also has 16-year-old, Riley, who retired from therapy work last year. Wendy and her therapy dogs enjoy working with struggling young readers at the “Read With Me” visits at Mooseheart Child City and School in Batavia and Ann M Jeans Elementary School in Willowbrook.
Louie and Ellie have appeared in the PAWSitive Therapy Troupe’s “Canine Nutcracker” in 2012 and 2015. They have starred as a Mice, Dewdrops and Chinese Tea.
Here is what Wendy has to say about her Shelties and PAWSItive Therapy Troupe experiences:
“Ellie and Louie each started doing therapy dog work as soon as they turned one year old. I would describe Ellie as a beautiful, sweet, sensitive old soul. She seems very intuitive about what people need and is always ready to cuddle up next to them. She is calm and very well behaved in many settings. Louie is a happy, goofy guy. He just loves people! He is very happy to meet new friends and loves to cuddle close to them. He is like his great- grandfather Riley--happy, loving and eager to please. Both Ellie and Louie enjoy snuggling close as children read books to them. I love seeing how the kids get excited when they see the dogs at their schools. I also really enjoyed being a part of the troupe’s “Canine version of The Nutcracker. We have participated in this event the last two times it was done. It is such a fun and cute show! Ellie was thrilled to co-star with another therapy dog in the “Chinese Tea” duet. It warms my heart to see what a difference therapy dogs can make in so many ways. This is the reason I have been doing this work for all these years.”
On behalf of all of us in the PAWSitive Therapy Troupe, thank YOU Wendy for so many years of devoted service!
The PAWSitive Therapy Troupe is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) public charity dedicated to sharing registered therapy dogs with individuals in a wide variety of health care and educational settings--bringing comfort, support and encouragement through the unique healing power of the human-animal bond.
PAWSitive Therapy team Amy and Buster on CBS News (February 16, 2018)
PAWSitive Therapy Troupe Featured on PBS's "In the Loop" (May 25, 2017)
Loyola Celebrates 20 Years of Pet Therapy
For 20 years, the PAWsitive Therapy Troupe has been visiting patients, families and colleagues at Loyola Medicine. These canine caregivers bring comfort, support and encouragement through the unique healing power of the human-animal bond.
What is the PAWSitive Therapy Troupe?
The PAWSitive Therapy Troupe is an Animal-Assisted Activities and Therapy program designed to share registered therapy dogs with patients and students in a variety of health care and educational settings.
What are Animal-Assisted Activities / Therapy?
Animal-Assisted Activities (AAA) share registered therapy dogs with patients or students in a variety of activities such as individual bedside visits, entertaining demonstrations or educational sessions. Animal- Assisted Activities are not necessarily goal-directed, but they are nonetheless certainly therapeutic in nature.
Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) is goal-directed intervention in which a therapy dog is an integral part of the clinical treatment process. It is directed by a licensed health care or education professional with specialized expertise and within the scope of his or her profession. AAT is designed to promote improvement in physical, social, emotional and / or cognitive functioning / reading skills. This process is documented in the health care record by the health care professional or in the education plan by the education professional.
Is there a Difference Between a Therapy Dog and a Service Dog?
Yes! Therapy dogs are NOT “service”, or “assistance” dogs. Service dogs include guide dogs for the blind; hearing dogs that alert their owners to sounds; mobility assistance dogs, which may pull a wheelchair or directly support a person; seizure alert dogs; and others like them. Service dogs are covered under the Americans With Disabilities Act. People with disabilities can BY LAW, take their service dogs with them wherever they go, including planes, restaurants, sporting events, etc.
Many people are under the mistaken impression that therapy dogs and their handlers have the same rights of access as people with disabilities and their service animals. Therapy dogs are NOT service dogs. They are NOT allowed to accompany their handlers wherever they go. Therapy dogs are invited into hospitals, nursing homes or schools to work with patients or students on very specific tasks, or simply to bring their unconditional love to the many people who need them in these facilities. Therapy dogs and their handlers have no more rights of access than anyone with a companion animal or pet.
Therapy dogs are always first and foremost beloved family pets. You cannot “buy” a ready made therapy dog. Therapy dogs and their owners, because of their interest in therapy work have undergone additional rigorous training to prepare them to function reliably in health care or educational settings. Therapy dogs live at home with their families when they are not working.