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Please wish Piglet and I good luck!

sydkat7

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The Pigster and I have just been chosen by the Denver Pet Partners program (part of the American Humane Association and the Delta Society) to start training on becoming a Therapy Team to conduct animal assisted therapy (AAT) in the Denver and Colorado Springs area! If you're wondering what AAT is, here's a link with more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal-Assisted_Therapy

Pet therapy teams visit hospitals, schools, acute care, long-term care facilities, hospice care, etc., to assist patients and clients with their recovery and facilitate improved physical, mental, and social skills. Most therapy animals are dogs, but cats, horses, and other animals are also used in the program. Animals who are chosen for this work are required to have exceptional social skills and patience with all types of people. Piglet was chosen because of her friendly, outgoing, yet sweet and calm personality. She is so good with people, but she's especially patient with children and the elderly.

My training with Denver Pet Partners will start in Oct 09, then Piglet and I will get evaluated later in the month to determine our readiness to be a pet therapy team. We will also work with an experienced therapy team facilitator for awhile until we are ready to visit facilities on our own.

Doing this kind of work, especially with my best pal Piglet, is a dream come true! Needless to say, if we pass and get certified, Piglet and I will be the first sphynx cat/person therapy team in Colorado! Please wish us luck!! :tinysmile_fatgrin_t
 

admin

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Great job sydkat,
congratulations and good luck!!!!!! this is a wonderful thing you and Piglet are doing!
Im proud of you guys!!! Keep us updated.
good luck!!:tinysmile_twink_t:
 

sydkat7

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Thanks, admin. I am so excited about this, I can hardly contain myself! I know that Piglet will make an ideal therapy pet....she has the disposition and personality to do the job well! I'll probably need more training than she does....LOL! October is still a long ways away so when the time comes, we'll keep you all posted on our progress!

Gosh, it just never ceases to amaze me how phenominal our sphynx cats are!
 

kalliee129

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That is totally awesome!!!! I actually wanted to get Meecho signed up for this but didn't know how to do it and what the requirements would be. How did you go about signing up for this?
 

sydkat7

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That is totally awesome!!!! I actually wanted to get Meecho signed up for this but didn't know how to do it and what the requirements would be. How did you go about signing up for this?
Kallie, you would need to contact a local AAT organization that offers the training and certification evalutions. Here's a website that has a listing of AAT orgs by state: http://landofpuregold.com/rxb.htm
I hope this helps! You may also want to check the delta society pet partners website.

It's so neat that you'd like to get Meecho involved in this sort of work. I truly believe that sphynxes and peterbalds are breeds that are ideal for therapy work, because of their friendly and outgoing nature.

That is really cool. You're an angel.
Thank you, ElGato....Piglet and I appreciate your kind words. :tinysmile_shy_t:
 

kerrie78

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Good Luck! You guys will be fine! I did it with my dogs for a bit; work gets so hectic for me that it is hard to schedule anything anymore. We never know if we are working OT until we are at the "normal" leaving time! It's an awesome thing to do! :ThumbsUp:
 

ilovemysphynx

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That is very nice congrats to you and Piglet. I am sue you will make it through the training with flying colors! I have A friend who does this with her dogs and for practice before and during training for her and her pet to get used to it she found private nursing homes and preschools and elementry schools that alowed and very much welcomed them to come in and socialize. She really said that was A big help.:BigSmile:
 

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Our cats are so great for this kind of work. I think the cat enjoys it as much as the people who get to meet him! I used to take Harold around to elementary schools and show him to the little kids. I'd take him to each child and let them touch him, and then stand in front of the class with him and answer questions.

Some of the questions the kids asked me were so funny...like, "Is his hair ever going to grow back?" and they were most excited about his weird curly rat tail.
 

sydkat7

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Good Luck! You guys will be fine! I did it with my dogs for a bit; work gets so hectic for me that it is hard to schedule anything anymore. We never know if we are working OT until we are at the "normal" leaving time! It's an awesome thing to do! :ThumbsUp:
Kerrie, would you be willing to share your AAT experiences that you had with your dogs? What type of facilities did you and your dogs visited? I'm just curious to hear how the AAT experience was for other people as I haven't ever done this sort of thing before.

Our cats are so great for this kind of work. I think the cat enjoys it as much as the people who get to meet him! I used to take Harold around to elementary schools and show him to the little kids. I'd take him to each child and let them touch him, and then stand in front of the class with him and answer questions.

Some of the questions the kids asked me were so funny...like, "Is his hair ever going to grow back?" and they were most excited about his weird curly rat tail.
Brooke, I think it's so cute that the kids at the school were so into your sphynx. Since having Piglet, I've noticed that kids who see and visit with her are much more accepting of her and her strange appearance than adults are...it seems that kids appreciate sphynx cats more than adults do.

That is very nice congrats to you and Piglet. I am sue you will make it through the training with flying colors! I have A friend who does this with her dogs and for practice before and during training for her and her pet to get used to it she found private nursing homes and preschools and elementry schools that alowed and very much welcomed them to come in and socialize. She really said that was A big help.:BigSmile:
That's a good idea, ilovemysphynx. I was thinking of taking Piglet to PetSmart again a few times to get used to being around strangers, but going to a school or nursing home would be a more authentic practice for her. I will check into it and see if I can arrange something like that soon.
 

kerrie78

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I mostly went to the childrens hospital by me; so of course the kids were ecstatic to see any new face... let alone an animal. It was a great feeling to do something with your animal to help someone else feel better when they are so ill. I am trying to find the words to describe it; you will see what i mean your first time. I think the children & elderly react the most to the animals... it is such a highlight for them & also kind of an escape from reality for a bit too. I think that if anyone is going to invest time to do something with their pet this is about the best you can do! :ThumbsUp:
 

sydkat7

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I mostly went to the childrens hospital by me; so of course the kids were ecstatic to see any new face... let alone an animal. It was a great feeling to do something with your animal to help someone else feel better when they are so ill. I am trying to find the words to describe it; you will see what i mean your first time. I think the children & elderly react the most to the animals... it is such a highlight for them & also kind of an escape from reality for a bit too. I think that if anyone is going to invest time to do something with their pet this is about the best you can do! :ThumbsUp:
Awww...Kerrie, that sounds so awesome! I hope my experiences with animal assisted therapy will be just as rewarding! :Smile:
 

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I wish you good luck, but I think it will work without too much effort !

It's a very good therapy for people to have animals around them, and our cats are so cute !
 

sydkat7

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I wish you good luck, but I think it will work without too much effort !

It's a very good therapy for people to have animals around them, and our cats are so cute !
I agree, Moonstone, they are too cute! Yesterday, I took Piglet with me as I ran some errands and everywhere we went, people smiled and wanted to pet and touch her. Our sphynx cats just seem to have a way of wrapping people around their hearts! :Adore:
 

ilovemysphynx

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I just love to see the look on peoples faces, yesterday our landscaper came to do the lawn and we where talking out side and Leo was in the window all the guy kept doing was starring at him like he was afraid to ask me about him I said thats our cat Leo he is a sphynx they have no hair he was very amazed and glad I said something because he said he was not sure if it was supposed to be like that or not and didn't want to ask!
 

kalliee129

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That is hiliarious. I love when people come to the door and aren't expecting to see Meecho. Some take it in stride and some can't seem to run away fast enough. :Dizzy:
 

sydkat7

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UPDATE: Piglet and I were able to get placed into the August 09 AAT training, so we'll be going through the training sooner than expected. I'm so glad this happened, as it would have been hard for me to have to wait until October! :Sweat:

This way, Piggers and I can start doing some good work MUCH SOONER than originally planned! :BigSmile:
 

Moonstone

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congrats !

:ThumbsUp:

you will have to told us what you do in training !
I'm very curious about that training !
:Question:
 

sydkat7

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Thanks, admin and Moonstone, I'm curious about the training myself. I'll keep you all posted on my progress when I start the process in August!
 

kalliee129

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aarrrgggghhhhh I'm trying to get Meecho into being a therapy pet but there are no areas near us that have those types of programs. All the locations are so far for her to have sit in the car for. Geez you would think living next to the capital of free world we would have something, Oh well I will keep looking!! :ThumbsUp:
 

sydkat7

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aarrrgggghhhhh I'm trying to get Meecho into being a therapy pet but there are no areas near us that have those types of programs. All the locations are so far for her to have sit in the car for. Geez you would think living next to the capital of free world we would have something, Oh well I will keep looking!! :ThumbsUp:
Geez, Kallie, I would think that they'd have programs like this for sure in D.C. if they have them in little ol' Colorado! The program we have here in Denver with the American Humane Association and the Delta Society seems to be very well-run and organized from what I can see so far. I'll keep my fingers crossed that you and Meecho will find something soon!
 

kalliee129

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They have some but they are either at really weird times like on a wednesday at 2 pm. Hello I have to work to support my spoiled baby :Dizzy:

There is one in Fairfax which is only like 35 miles away for us, but the problem is the traffic here sucks!! It will literally take me anywhere from 1 and half to 2 hourse to get there and it's not fair to Meecho to have to sit in the car so long.

I've found one for a hospice here in Fredericksburg which is only 12 miles away and it's going south so the traffic isn't so bad. Only problem is there is no website to get more information only a phone number and well I'm guessing they have been really busy because no answer and no call back from them. I'm gonna keep working on it as well as trying to find away for her to donate blood.

For some reason everytime I look at her I just feel like she is meant to do something really special and important for others and I've never felt that way about any of my pets. I mean I've loved every one of my pets but on the smart scale they were not :Laugh:
 

sydkat7

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UPDATE: Piglet and I had our first animal assisted therapy pre-screening yesterday afternoon. This is basically to see if Piglet's fit for the job. Anyway, for those of you who were interested, the exercises they have for the cats are pretty simple:

1) see how the cat does on a leash
2) appearance and grooming
3) accepting a friendly stranger
4) accepting pettting
5) reaction to neutral dog (Piglet did great with this, she didn't even hiss)
6) stay on three consecutive stangers' laps for 30 secs each

(the prospective therapy cats will be exposed to more challenging scenarios during the final evaluation; this was just the initial one)

Well, I was a little nervous but the Pigster did a fabulous job! Just as I suspected, she charmed all the evaluators with her sweet and calm personality, as well as her unique looks (Piglet is the first and so far the only sphynx therapy cat in this particular program here in Denver). Here's some of the comments written about Piglet in her evaluation:

"Beautiful, calm cat. Very inquisitive and bright."
"Very comfortable on people's laps. Comfortable with handling."
"Gorgeous, calm cat. Wondeful potential as a therapy animal."

Yes (sniff, sniff) the little Piggers did me proud yesterday! :ThumbsUp: Next step is the in-class training I have to do the week after next.

P.S. Note to Kallie: I agree with you that Meecho should get involved in this type of work....she's too smart and friendly not to do something. If I hear of any Delta Society chapters in your area, I'll be sure to let you know!
 
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