Monday, January 19, 2009

Delta Society Training: Cincinnati

Yesterday I attended a fascinating Delta Society training produced by Therapy Pets of Greater Cincinnati. They offer trainings and Pet Partner team evaluations almost every month. Director Glenna Mockbee and one of her own team members, chocolate lab Blake, as well as other experienced Pet Partner teams from their organization, introduced us to the theories and practices of becoming and being a Pet Partner team in a day long workshop.

Delta Society is a non profit organization formed in the later 1970's that has set the standard for training and registering pet and partner teams whose aim is to visit people who can use a boost. The benefits a person receives by interacting with an animal during a time of pain or stress, emotional or physical, is becoming an increasingly well documented phenomenon. Usually dog/handler teams are formed - but as some of you know - my cattle dogs are completely unqualified for this sort of work mostly due to their dedication to acting on their own naturally exuberant impulses. A great characteristic for herding cows, not so good for keeping calm next to a hospital bed.

That's why I'll be working with my miniature horse io! I thought I might be the only candidate in the room with such a goal in mind until a brand new friend, Dove Griffin (her miniature horse farm is: Minicamelot), piped up during her introduction that she was doing the same. An instant rapport was formed. Actually everyone in the room was an immediate friend; bound by our love of animals and desire to work with a well chosen partner to bring cheer to people who need some.

I'll be writing more as io and I progress through our training and introduction to facilties in and around the Bleugrass region of Kentucky. Once we're officially registered we will possess credentials and skills that will allow us to visit with patients, clients, residents; their friends and family as well as the staff of places like hospitals, nursing homes, long term care facilities, assisted living residences, schools and others. All of our work will be gratis.

Now you know why I need a trailer small enough for my car to pull, and cute enough to delight the casual observer as io and I pull into the parking lots of places where our goal will be to bring a light moment to an otherwise less than perfect day.

1 comment:

  1. What an absolutely lovely, lovely thing you and your Buddy Io will soon be doing!!!