Months of planning, organizing, training and coordination came together recently at the launch of a new therapy dog program for GDB career change dogs in the Portland, Ore., area. Known as PACTT (Portland Area Canine Therapy Teams), the program is a partnership between Guide Dogs for the Blind and DoveLewis Animal Hospital. Last week, the first PACTT team (therapy dog and handler) made its debut therapy visit.
On the GDB side, Community Field Representative Deana Allen coordinates the program. “DoveLewis had a therapy dog program for a while that was disbanded for a variety of reasons,” she said. “Their CEO Ron Morgan wanted to have another and this time he wanted to partner with GDB.”
It made a lot of sense to both organizations to tap into the GDB career-change community. “Many of the people who adopt career change dogs are GDB puppy raisers and they have a lot of skill,” Deana said. “They know their dogs very well, and the dogs are used to being out in public.”
|Moon lends a little love to Juanita Murphy at Emeritus Senior Living in Vancouver, Wash., while handler Lisa Locke looks on|
|Janet Schultz and Salsa during therapy dog evaluation at the GDB dorm|
|Lisa Locke and her dog Moon visit the Emeritus Senior Living’s recreation room, Vancouver, Wash.|
|Elaine Wilderman of Bethany, Oregon and her dog Clark are one of the teams recently certified to do therapy work|
Here’s to many more visits and smiles in the future. It’s our PACCT!