Dogs with a Job – the therapy dog

Many dogs don’t just live for the day, but have real jobs. One such job is working as a therapy dog. Today I will introduce you to two of these representatives: Buddie, who works in a city library, and Samir, who works in a correctional facility, among other things.

What actually is a therapy dog? As a dog owner you know, of course, that dogs are balm for the soul. They give all their love and ask so little in return. They comfort you when you’re feeling bad and they’re happy when you’re feeling well.

Furthermore, four-legged friends actually have the gift of being able to resolve anxiety in people or to do grief work. Medicine has long since recognized this, so it is not surprising that therapy dogs are being used more and more often.

Such animal-protected therapy is usually used in the following areas:

in speech therapy in curative education in occupational therapy in psychotherapyBut before such a four-legged friend can work as a therapy dog , he (just like the corresponding two-legged friend) must first be professionally trained. Dogs that show an above-average affection for people are particularly suitable.

So Raban is out. For him, strangers are a horror 🙈. Charly would probably be suitable, because he finds everyone great, likes to be petted and forgives – for example with children – rough handling.

A therapy dog ​​conveys – almost immediately – security, compassion and security. And because it works so well, such animal-assisted therapy may be able to help with neurological, psychological, and social problems.

Buddie works in a local library

Therapy dog ​​Buddie and media educator Birte Weinig work in the Cronenberg district library I Photo: Stefanie Vom Stein / City of Wuppertal

And exactly such a therapy dog ​​is Buddie. He and his mistress – the media educator Birte Weinig – belong to the team of the Cronenberg district library in Wuppertal, is a two-year-old Aussiedor (mixture of Australian Shepherd and Labrador) and has end 2021 passed his exam to become a therapeutic-educational companion dog. This has tested and confirmed that he is stress resistant, friendly and relaxed.

Since September 2021 Birte and Buddie are on duty in the library. While Birte devotes herself to her tasks as head of the library and also prepares offers and programs for groups from Wuppertal’s schools and daycare centers, therapy dog ​​Buddie is allowed to move around freely and is used as a reading dog or as a media-educational companion dog.

Allergy sufferers and people who are afraid of dogs needn’t worry. If desired, Buddie can then take a break in his dog box. Basically, when Buddie is in his box, he doesn’t want to be disturbed. Because working as a therapy dog ​​is exhausting for him, and he needs enough time to gather new energy for his next assignment.

Lesebuddies – dog-assisted reading promotion

Dogs with a job – Buddie, the therapy dog, works as a reading dog in the Cronenberg district library in Wuppertal I Photo: Stefanie Vom Stein / City of Wuppertal

At the end of January, the Wuppertal City Library will start the “Lesebuddies” project, because then The second half of the year begins in schools in North Rhine-Westphalia. As part of this campaign, children from the 3rd and 4th grades of primary schools in Wuppertal who have special needs in reading can come to the Cronenberg district library for individual appointments with therapy dog ​​Buddie. There they get six appointments (each 30 minutes) dog-assisted reading promotion.

Children can practice their reading skills together with Buddie in a relaxed atmosphere. And Buddie is a great therapy dog ​​because he’s non-judgmental and doesn’t laugh at anyone.

This promotes children’s self-confidence and security, and helps them reduce their fears of reading aloud, improve articulation and most importantly, enjoy reading. A great project ❤️, isn’t it?

Anyone who would like to get to know therapy dog ​​Buddie can get to know him on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays during opening hours in the Cronenberg district library.

Samir – certified therapy dog ​​at the German Red Cross

Samir is also a therapy dog ​​at the DRK Baden-Württemberg in Göppingen I Photo: Frank Sauter

The almost nine-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback male Samir is also a therapy dog. He has his education 1084 completed at the German Red Cross in the state association of Baden-Württemberg in Göppingen, which lasted half a year. He belongs to Frank Sauter who, together with his wife Birgit, also breeds Rhodesian Ridgebacks in the African Sai’s Clan kennel.

I have a personal relationship with Samir, because he is a son of my bear prince Dayo. So it’s no wonder that Samir is something very special in one way or another. Apart from his great character, he is also the only Rhodesian Ridgeback therapy dog ​​in the world to have passed the International Working Dog Test (IGP FCI).

But back to his work as a therapy dog. Dogs that are trained in the DRK must of course be able to withstand extreme situations. For example, he must not be irritated by a patient suffering from Tourette’s syndrome who suddenly screams.

He must also be able to remain calm when, for example, a patient with Down’s syndrome approaches grabs him and doesn’t want to let him go. Of course, a therapy dog ​​may perceive such a situation as unpleasant and try to avoid it. Under no circumstances is he allowed to go forward.

Therapy dog ​​Samir always has to be calm in extreme situations I Photo: Frank Sauter

Therapy dog ​​Samir is currently in action in the Schwäbisch Gmünd prison. Samir goes there with great joy, while Frank has a rather oppressive feeling. But the success that Samir achieves there with his patients makes up for all the anxieties.

There is, for example, the young man who 30 years only with his eyes blinking because the muscles in his body aren’t responding. When Frank puts the man’s hand on Samir’s head, his (ie the young man’s) pulse drops immediately. And there is the imprisoned woman with tears streaming down her cheeks as her hands cling to Samir’s body.

Trust is the key”These are very special moments,” says Frank . “They get under your skin and are successes that mean a lot to me and Samir.” The key to these successes does not necessarily lie in Samir’s training as a therapy dog, but rather in the mutual trust between humans and four-legged friends and in the very close bond that those two have.

Samir with master Frank at the Therapy dog ​​training I Photo: Frank Sauter

Both Samir and Buddie are breakwaters in their function as therapy dogs bridge builder. They don’t judge people by their looks or their social status. They accept everyone for who they are and are just there for the person. I wish the two handsome boys and their two-legged friends many more great experiences and hope that they can help so many people.

Scroll to Top