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Four legs, a lick and a wag

Dear friends,

I trust you had a good Memorial Day and that you paid tribute in your own way to our heroes for all the freedoms we enjoy. I love seeing all the flags fly.

I want to talk to you this week about therapy dogs, assistance dogs and service dogs. Did you know there was a difference? I didn’t. My town mom is reading this book she mentioned last week in my column, Two Plus Four Equals One and in there the author talks about the difference between service dogs and assistance dogs. I will share it with you so you too can be up to speed.

A service dog is a dog that is specially trained to help people with needs other than sight or hearing. An assistance dog is a dog that is trained to help people with all different kinds of disabilities. Sort of confusing I think, and then you throw in therapy dogs. I guess sometimes they can mean the same thing too. Oh my goodness.

Let me talk to you about therapy dogs. I think I can do this without much confusion. This is the simplest way to put it. A therapy dog is one that helps. Ha, how about that! I am a therapy dog. Gertie is a therapy dog. It would be very safe to say that all my pals are therapy dogs too.

I sort of like having a title. Makes me feel important. Seriously, I love helping. I know by the pats on my head and side, the kisses on the top of my head, the hand along my tummy when I am sitting in the chair with my human, the food and treats I get, the tone of voices when I am being spoken to that I am helping in some way. I may not get paid the big bucks, I may not have that expensive diploma on the wall but I know I am helping and that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside.

My town mom told me one time not too long ago that someone who has the expensive diploma on the wall has discovered the emotional part of the human brain and the emotional part of the canine’s brain are almost alike. Well, gee I could have told them that if they had asked. We canines know when humans are happy, sad, angry, upset, excited and a whole bunch of other stuff too. Me, I am just happy knowing I can help someone by just loving them. That is not hard. Life is cool!

Bentley visited this week and we had another blast. We ran and ran and ran in the back yard. Finally I said, “Bentley, can we rest a minute?” He has more energy than 5 dogs put together. We rested and then we ran some more. Gertie watched. It is sort of interesting walking with Bentley along with Gertie and me. Our leashes get all tangled up and people just smile when they go by. I don’t know if they are smiling at us or laughing at my town mom. It was fun and I look forward to him returning soon.

Quote of the week: “There is only one dangerous breed, humans.”

Your ‘fur-ever’ friend, Buddy