Noblehaven's Smooth Operator, CGC, TDI
Submitted by Cherry and Terry Flaherty of Noblehaven Mastiffs
From the day he was born, I knew there was something special about Victor. He has always been such a calm, sweet soul, even as a young puppy. He is the happiest when he is in the company of people. It doesn't matter if they are children or seniors or any age in between. His love for people and his gentle nature is what led me to get him tested for therapy work.
After he passed his basic obedience class and obtained his Canine Good Citizen title, we set out for his TDI certification. Victor passed the test with flying colors and, as soon as we received his badge and paperwork in the mail, we got busy.
Victor and I began visiting seniors in nursing homes right away. He quickly made lots of friends. It is really great to see the smiles when Victor arrives. I don't know who enjoys the visits more, the residents or the staff! We also visit the residents in the Alzheimer's unit. Victor's presence seems to relax everyone he meets.
Recently, we started visiting a local elementary school to give students a help with their reading. Therapy Dogs International has a program called Tail Waggin' Tutors. Victor gives children a boost of self-confidence when they read to him. He loves to hear the children read. They sit on bean bags and read books that their teachers have recommended. Sometimes Victor sits on the bean bags too, or at least he tries. They need to make those things bigger!
The school is very proud of their students and of Victor, so much so, that they sent pictures into our local newspaper. Word got out about the program and our local news station came to the school to watch the children read to Victor and filmed a segment for the news. Apparently, people think this is a neat idea because the segment got passed along to the national news and CNN! Victor had no idea that he would be quite the celebrity. He just loves doing what he does best, spreading joy to people. I'm very proud of my boy and the fact that he makes so many people smile. He is truly one of a kind.
Victor's newspaper article is here.