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Exceptional Therapy Dogs In Training ‘Pup In’ For Ice Cream – The Newtown Bee

Published: Jul 30, 2022 07:05 AM

You scream, I scream — we all bark for ice cream.

That’s right, canines can get in on the summertime pastime of stopping for a cool, sweet, refreshing treat on a hot, sunny day. Therapy dogs in training through The Exceptional Pet/The Exceptional Sidekick of Newtown, visited Ferris Acres Creamery on a July Saturday for some interaction and ice cream.

Each dog enjoyed a cup with vanilla ice cream and a dog treat topping. And (good) boy did they like it (and lick it).

As part of their training, dogs are taken out into public to interact with people in public settings and get accustomed to lots of attention and petting, thus ensuring they are fit to be therapy dogs, said trainer Sandy Lee, who has a Bernese Mountain/poodle mix she trained with Exceptional Pet, leading to her role as a trainer there.

“We get to go out and have fun with our dogs. The people love it — the dogs love it,” said Lee, adding that therapy dogs will visit schools, hospitals, and long-term care facilities, for example.

Lee pointed to the efforts of Abby Hill, owner of The Exceptional Pet, as well as the founder and director of The Exceptional Sidekick Service Dogs and Therapy Dogs for making it possible to get dogs out and about and making people feel better. Dogs in the program will be certified in as little as 12 weeks or as long as a year and a half, Lee said.

“It really depends on the dog itself, where they are in their training,” she said.

Basil Holubis was with Raven, a West Virginia rescue/ hound dog mix. “This time last year she was nursing nine puppies,” Holubis said. “It’s gratifying for the fact the dogs are training but you’re already making people smile. If she doesn’t make it, I’ve still got an excellent dog.”

Jay Cadmus walked Leo, an Australian shepherd/standard poodle mix. He refers to Leo as a stroodle (or would that be strudel?)

It’s fun but the training is work,” Cadmus said.

Cadmus’s wife works for Bethel-based Ability Beyond, which is dedicated to empowering every person, no matter their ability, to have the opportunity to live, work and thrive as an integral part of their community. “The goal is to be able to take him into homes and work with her clients,” Cadmus said.

Another of the dogs in training who enjoyed ice cream belongs to Hang Campbell: Ollie, a golden retriever/poodle mix who is considered a golden poodle.

“Its a great bonding experience for the handler and the dog,” Lee said of the program.

For information, visit theexceptionalpet.com or exceptionalsidekick.org.

Sports Editor Andy Hutchison can be reached at andyh@thebee.com.

Therapy dogs in training through The Exceptional Pet/The Exceptional Sidekick of Newtown, visited Ferris Acres Creamery on a Saturday in July. Ollie saved the dog biscuit topping for last. After all, ice cream is a rare treat. —Bee Photos, Hutchison

Pictured is Basil Holubis with Raven.

Hang Campbell’s dog Ollie found the field trip to Ferris Acres to be a sweet part of training.

Jay Cadmus hopes to eventually take Leo to help with Bethel’s Ability Beyond.

Source: https://www.newtownbee.com/07302022/exceptional-therapy-dogs-in-training-go-for-ice-cream/

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