Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Therapy Animal Visits Crazy Pets Club

Submitted by: Susan Schmidtke, Crazy Pets Club Leader

Our 4-H Crazy Pets Club is off to an exciting 2010! While we missed getting together in February due to the snow, January's meeting was fantastic! Our guest Sally works with Therapy and Service animals and came out to talk with us about all things related. We learned the differences between what it takes to be a Therapy Animal which includes behavioral components and a Service Animal which includes many different task abilities. For example, a Therapy Dog must be very tolerant of noise, touch, and excitement within an environment in order to travel to schools, homes and clinics. Any breed works well provided it has the correct temperament.
A Service Dog must perform the physical tasks a person is unable to do for themselves such as open a door or switch off a light. Certain breeds work better than other due to their size, strength and natural 'dog job' ability.

It was all so interesting! And she brought her own Therapy dog Willoughby! The older members got to talk with Sally about volunteer opportunities in working with people and Therapy animals this summer. The younger members got to take turns reading to Willoughby! What fun! And what a terrific learning experience for our members.

March brought our very own Kaci to our meeting. Kaci is always enthusiastic and has lots of cool games for the members to play. Kaci not only explained to the group what the many opportunities our local 4-H offers, but what they can do on State and National levels as well. Kaci infused the group with her excitement and helped brainstorm objectives for the year. Top of the list? A field trip to the Luray Zoo! Thank you Kaci from all of the Crazy Pets members!

Hope to see you on April 6th when we will be learning about the stages of chickens from chick to hen or rooster including various feather types and lots of different breeds. With live chickens of course! Email tag@thealpacagarden for more info or directions.