I walked into the care facility to visit Henry, bringing with me my therapy dog, Katie. Henry took one look at her from across the room, and said, “Is that Chompers?” with such joy and amazement in his voice! So that day, for Henry, Katie became Chompers.
Anyone who has a pet knows how healing they can be – their unconditional love and joy oozes into us in our most difficult times. There are times when the presence of a pet can open up hearts, and even memories.
The mission of the First Presbyterian Church Holy Waggers Therapy Dog Ministry is to promote health, hope and healing by demonstrating love and compassion to others. Handler/dog teams visit members, friends, and community, sharing the love of God with them.
Interested In Becoming A Holy Waggers Therapy Dog Team?
Because this ministry requires specialized training and commitment, everyone who is interested in becoming a Holy Waggers team needs to attend an Introduction to Therapy Dog Ministry Class to learn about the ministry, training, fees, and expectations.
We also offer specialized training in a six-week Level 1 Holy Waggers Team Class, focusing on the skills we want the dogs and handlers to have, followed by a two-week Level 2 Holy Waggers Team Class, focusing on interactions while visiting. All teams will have to attend the Introduction Class, as well as Level 1 and Level 2, before testing for certification.
Our level 1 class, focusing on the dog/human skills, will be taught by Linda Brodzik, CSAT, senior trainer of In Relation with Dogs – Behavioral Solutions.
Introduction to Therapy Dog Ministry Class
Sunday, January 19, 3-4:30 pm
Humans only! Please leave your dogs at home.
Level 1 Holy Waggers
Sundays, January 26 – March 1
Prerequisite: Introduction to Therapy Dog Ministry Class, plus proof of basic obedience training for the dog
Level 2 Holy Waggers
Sundays, March 8 & 15
Prerequisite: Level 1 Holy Waggers Team Class
Holy Waggers Therapy Dog Ministry is Based on These Values
- We are compassionate and supportive to the individuals we visit.
- We embrace the positive influence of the human/animal bond as it impacts health, hope and healing.
- We are committed to serving with empathy and as disciples of Christ and representatives of First Presbyterian Church.
- We consider trust and integrity to be essential in all our relationships with one another and the community members we serve.
- We will continuously and honestly assess our interaction with our canine companions and the community members we serve.
- We will maintain an all-inclusive ministry of respect for each other as well as those that we serve.
- We believe everyone is important, regardless of gender, orientation, race, religion, culture or ethnicity.
- We respect, recognize and appreciate the individuality of one another and our canine friends and will not intervene unless asked.
- If conflicts arise, we will resolve each with honesty, respect and compassion.