Sunnie — Therapy

Location: Salem, Oregon

Sunnie came into the care of Salem Dogs in June of 2018. Salem Dogs is a small rescue and adoption organization dealing with special needs dogs. Prior owners believed that her separation anxiety (SA) could not be overcome and wanted to rehome her. She was placed in two homes but returned to Salem Dogs both times due to her SA. Sunnie never exhibited SA while at the home of the rescue’s director, Diane Young (me). She was never alone due to the many dog buddies she had. A closer look at her documents revealed that she had quite a fine AKC genealogy and had learned many behaviors and tricks. When tested, this proved to be true–she loved to perform! Sunnie also had the perfect temperament for sharing her skills and her affection. She was enrolled in Pure Joy Canine Therapy class and both she and I attended for six weeks. Sunnie already knew everything; the training was mostly for me! Sunnie and I then completed the training to become a pet therapy team for Salem Health, Willamette Valley Hospice, and the Veterans’ Home. Because I was already a volunteer at Salem Health, our team quickly went on line and began visiting patients. It’s hard to get past the staff to see the patients but, they need “therapy” too so Sunnie obliged everyone with a big smile and wagging tail. She is often a goofball at home but is all business when her harness is on. She belongs to the world and not to share her would be a sin. Sunnie is the main attraction, I just drive the car.

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