Bernie is our new therapy dog toy. Each week Bernie will be sent to stay with one of our customers who doesn't have a Pawsitive Assistance Dog. Apart from just being adorable we also got him to do lots of important jobs.
Bernie is going to help teach some of our customers how to handle dogs gently before they're allowed to hold a class dogs lead. Demonstrating on Bernie means that we are able to teach the young person without compramising the welfare of our therapy dogs.Bernie is also going to used as extra emotional support. Sometimes our customers will have really hard weeks with appointments or other stressful sitautions. Having Bernie with them can be comforting for those situations especially as he has a little worry pouch on his collar which the customer can put their worries in so that Bernie can take them away. Bernie can't wait to go on lots of exciting adventures with his new friends.
At our Canine Assisted Activities session on the 20th of December Heather (the company director and class trainer) asked our customers parents for feedback. 100% of parents had seen an improvement in their childs behaviour in sessions and in every day life, in their demonstration of empathy towards others during sessions, social interaction in sessions and frequency of meltdowns and emotional distress in their lives overall. Because our customers have such diverse needs areas of improvement vary widely. The parents of two children with a physical disability reported an improvement in balence and coordination of their child and the parent of a non verbal child reported improvements in their childs communication both during class and in general since joining our sessions. Considering classes have only been running since September 2018 we couldn't be happier with the feedback! So much development in such a short amount of time. The parents ALL also rated the therapy dog handlers, therapy dogs and Heather Pyne as EXCELLENT.
The last few weeks have been an absolute wirl wind at Pawsitive Squad. We had an interview with the nottingham post followed by interview on the nottingham hospitals radio and then a video on BBC East Midlands. Since then we have been flooded with calls and requests which is all very exciting but at the heart of it all is raising awareness and funds for Pawsitive Squad and we are therefore being very selective about who we share our story through and my priority is as always on the children and dogs.