Ask a Terrier: Budleigh Analyzes Therapy

Dear Budleigh,

I think that I’d make a good therapy dog. Is it hard to become one? I have my own harness. It has a pocket. Are there any further requirements? FYI, my fur is soft.

Respectfully yours, Baldur (as dictated to my Giant Mitch)

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Dear Baldur,

My Yelly Giant often remarks that, “The best therapy dog comes in little, blue pills!” Then, he laughs. A lot! Sometimes cries.

He means, I assume, that to pursue this higher calling, canines must understand the difference between being a therapy dog, trained to provide comfort and affection, and a service dog, permitted to carry a concealed firearm.

According to the American Kennel Club (Motto: “Stay!”), therapy dog candidates should be naturally calm, friendly and affectionate. However, professional training is needed to mold a dog into a patient, adaptable companion or, in certain cases, a merciless killing machine. (See The Manchurian Candidate.)

Decades-long scientific research reduced to a 20-second news clip proves the benefits to Giants of a therapy dog – lower blood pressure and heart rate, reduced anxiety, and increased levels of endorphins and oxytins– two ingredients normally found in shoes.

their skills at staying calm – possibly comatose.</strong>
At the dog park, Budleigh and Brisby hone
their skills at staying calm – possibly comatose.
Therapy dogs are comfortable in different facility settings, like hospital wards and nursing homes. There, Giants depend on them to share their serene character. That’s an awesome responsibility. So, before deciding to train, Baldur, ask yourself, “Am I truly tranquil, or do I just sleep a lot?”

Frankly, I’d have made a fine therapy dog but for, you’ll pardon the expression, “obedience class.” What a scam! Nothing but cliques made up of Hipsters and Mean Girls and Golden Retrievers. And if you don’t fit in, if you’re a free spirit, if you bite just one little instructor – and not even that deep – they label you “terrier.”

That’s a brand that stays with you; probably embossed on one of those jingley things on your collar. And because of it, you’ll never be a therapy dog. Or hold public office. Or work with explosives.

So think long and hard, Baldur. You face a tough road ahead with no promise of a better harness – or even a pocket.


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7 thoughts on “Ask a Terrier: Budleigh Analyzes Therapy

  1. Budleigh, Harper here. I used to think I’d be a great therapy dog, but that was when I thought it meant I NEEDED therapy. Like who doesn’t when you live with the giants–am I right? Anyway, after that whole “social promotion” brouhaha at obedience school, I sacked the whole idea. I’d tell Buldar to do the same.
    Woof to you and yours, Budleigh!

    1. You know, Harper, you could always practice Mindful Nipping. That’s a thing, now. Very calming. Well, not to the nipped. Budleigh

  2. Budleigh barks such terrific advice, I truly believe he should start answering questions posed by humans. Even now I’m asking myself, “Am I truly tranquil, or do I just (want to) sleep a lot.” I don’t sleep much, but the desire is there. And the last time someone expected me to be obedient I bared my teeth. Gaining valuable insight from Budleigh on how much we humans have in common with canines.

    1. Hi, Molly! Budleigh here. I do answer questions from Giants. But they tend to be so repetitive. “How can I make my dog heel?” “How do I make her ‘stay’?” “How do I remove blood stains?”

      Dogs have a deeper, more philosophical view of the world. They’re willing to challenge the status quo with probing questions like, “How would this situation change if I peed on it?”

      Such inquisitiveness is in the nature of every dog, from regal Great Dane down to the yappiest, little Status Quo. Budleigh

  3. Ginger is my therapy, but I’m not sure about a therapy dog to strangers because she barks at new people (for a few minutes), giving the impression during that short period of a 9-lb. thug. Oh, she just nudged me with this message: “I’m very capable when given chikun. Where’s my vest and concealed weapon?”

    1. Budleigh says,

      “Thanks, Suzette! And remember, Ginger: A stranger is just a friend you haven’t bitten yet.

      “Oh, and my Giant just nudged me with this message: ‘That’s not how chikun is spelled.’”

  4. Hi Budleigh! Schnapps here. After thinking it over very carefully I have decided I don’t want to be a therapy dog. However, I think I need a therapy dog. What are your thoughts?

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