SMALL DOG HAS BIG PAWS!
“Lover”, a teacup Yorkshire Terrier, from Owosso, Michigan only weighs 4.2 pounds, but his tiny paws have climbed some big hurdles already. In early spring, shortly after he turned a year old, he earned his AKC Canine Good Citizen Award. From there, he logged on the necessary hours and ten supervised therapy dog visits at the Pleasant View Medical Care Facility in Corunna and received his Love on a Leash Award, and Therapy Dog Certification.
“I’m so proud of him,” his owner, Lisa Freeman said. “He’s worked so hard.”
Yorkie’s are known to be one of the toughest breeds to train, which Freeman, a seasoned dog trainer, knows first-hand. “He had some issues to overcome," she said. “He barked constantly and was very hard to housebreak. He also had a lot of fears. But the obedience commands and therapy training he picked up on right away.”
Freeman bought Lover from a local breeder when he was just ten weeks old. “It was Valentines week when we got him. That’s why I named him Lover.” Freeman said. “But also, my dad had just passed away, and I wanted a therapy dog for my mom to bring her joy in her time of grief. The first day we got Lover, we took him to the nursing home to see her, and he melted in her arms and brought a huge smile to her face! We visited a couple other people and he had the same effect on them too.”
In just a few weeks Lover was a regular at the nursing home, and his tiny paws were also was being used in Freeman's dog obedience classes. “People couldn’t believe he was only four months old and obeying even the more advanced commands like ‘leave it’ and a ‘down stay’ from a distance,” Freeman said.
"He gives me therapy too," Freeman said. "So, earlier this year when I was diagnosed with breast cancer and they wanted me to have a biopsy, I told them the only way I would go through the procedure is if Lover could be with me. Medical things terrify me because I often have anaphylactic reactions to drugs." The nurse in charge, went right to work, pulled the necessary strings and Freeman got the okay.
“We should have him come for everyone’s biopsies,” one of the nurses commented after seeing how Lover laid completely still on the table the entire time, only moving to give his mommy reassuring kisses.
Lover is now Freeman's Registered Service Dog. He recently assisted Freeman to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Zion, Illinois, where he also assisted in pet therapy. “We were asked to visit rooms where patients were critically ill and near death,” Freeman says, “and one man was miraculously healed and released from the hospital just an hour after our visit!”
For more information about: pet therapy, obedience training, service dog training, AKC Canine Good Citizens Testing and AKC Star Puppy Classes, please log onto www.dogspawsforhealing.com.