Tally is a golden retriever certified with Therapy Dog International and has recently been acknowledged by the TDI organization for having over 150 visits to various organizations. Tally visits schools, health facilities, and mainly the Forks Library, where she participates in the Gentle Paws Reading Program for young children.
A therapy dog is a highly trained dog and must pass the stringent Canine Good Citizen test, administered by the American Kennel Club, in order to be considered a true ‘therapy dog’. Therapy dogs also must receive a clean bill of health by their veterinarian and re-certify every year in order to remain in good standing. Therapy dogs are not service dogs; they can be petted and are not allowed in stores, restaurants, or any other facility unless given specific permission. Many people, unfortunately, call their dogs ‘therapy’ or ‘service’ dogs and want their dogs to accompany them into a store. If owners truly have a physical or emotional need they must follow the correct procedures to get them, and their canine, properly certified and insured through an organization such as Therapy Dog International.
Tally is now accompanied by Gabby, a 3-year-old labradoodle, who is also certified and learning quickly from her big sister how to be a reading companion to young children. Both dogs are owned and trained by Sherry Schaaf.
If you have any questions about therapy dogs you can contact her through the Forks Forum.