Bueller — Therapy

Location: Tupelo, Mississippi

A little more than a year ago, Bueller was a good family pet. We went on some walks, and watched TV together. I was a recreational runner, and I had developed a bone spur that left me barely able to walk most of the time. I had surgery in January 2019, and spent two months with limited mobility and in a cast. I began to notice that Bueller was more attached to me than usual during this time, often laying beside or on top of my injured foot. He spent hours comforting me day after day. I made him a promise that when I could get around, I would do more with him. I began studying online courses in dog behavior, obedience, and tricks. I also recognized his great potential as a therapy dog. I wanted to share his ability to comfort with others. During the summer, Bueller earned his Canine Good Citizen title and passed his control evaluation for Love On A Leash. We began visits at a children’s shelter, schools, hospice, and retirement centers. During the year, Bueller earned AKC titles for Trick Dog Novice, Intermediate, and Advanced, and we also became a Reading Education Assistance Dog (R.E.A.D.) team. Additionally, the skills I learned from training Bueller led me to become a certified dog trainer, a new career which I love more than any job I have ever had, teaching obedience and working with dogs that have behavior issues. Bueller has more than 80 therapy visits to date, and I am amazed at how the care he showed for me grew so spectacularly to help so many people and other dogs.