Allan’s Angels Therapy Dogs
Bolton Veterinary Hospital is proud to be the sponsor of the all-volunteer group, Allan’s Angels Therapy Dogs.
Allan’s Angels was established in 2005 and is named in honor of the founder of Bolton Veterinary Hospital, Allan A. Leventhal, DVM. Allan’s Angels is a chapter of The Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dogs, Inc and provides certified, trained and insured handler/dog teams for the purpose of giving loving and empathic support in nursing homes, hospitals and other facilities, as well as individuals at home, where animal assisted therapy is indispensable.
Dogs and handlers must meet strict criteria, including passing a certification test, to be accepted into the Allan’s Angels Therapy Dog program.
To learn more about our Therapy Dog course, Allan’s Angels, Bright & Beautiful or to request a team to visit your facility, please call one of the program coordinators:
Gail Davis – Program Director – 860 490 0577
Trip Barnett – Assistant Director – 860 539 3697
You can also visit Allan’s Angels on Facebook. Copied below is an article written by an Allan’s Angels therapy dog trainer.
My dog, Archie and I are one of Allan’s Angel Therapy Dog teams. I got Archie as a puppy in 2007 because I always wanted a corgi, but I had no thoughts of doing therapy dog work. As it turned out, the timing was fortuitous. A close friend and my mother died the first year I had Archie and that is when Archie became a therapy dog – mine. My husband used to say, “That little dog is keeping you sane,” and I had to agree. How could I be sad when this little butt waging bundle of energy greeted me with a big smile and such enthusiasm? Training him in regular obedience classes also gave me a positive focus.
Remembering how much pleasure Archie brought to me, my family and the patients in the nursing home and hospice facility started me thinking that he might make a good therapy dog. I was retired and although I enjoyed my hobbies I wanted to do something that would make a difference in people’s lives and give my own life more purpose. Discovering therapy dog work has provided me with a way to make that difference and it is my corgi Archie who has led me on this wonderful journey.
After passing our test and being certified by Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dog,
Archie and I became an Allan’s Angel Therapy Dog team in 2010. I was so proud of him – he was very smart, alert, ready to work with a big smile on his face – I was so happy and eager to begin our work.
During those first few months of visits I realized that working with a corgi had its challenges (as do all breeds), and I had to learn how to best handle Archie who is close to the ground, has no tail to wag (although he has a great butt wag), is hefty and bulky with a long body, weighing in at 28 lbs. I needed to find a niche that was right for us – one that would play to his strengths, enable me to better handle him physically and one that was meaningful to me personally.
The first opportunity came when I met a hospice volunteer coordinator at my church. I went through training with Masonicare Partners Home Health & Hospice and Archie and I became a Creature Comfort team, which has been a very good match for us. He smiles at everyone as he walks through facilities and lays next to patients with a calm presence, giving them plenty of “petting time” with him. I only visit one to three hospice patients at a time in a facility so I don’t have to lift him so much.
Another nice opportunity came when I learned about Reading Education Assistance Dogs. I went through that training and now we are one of Denise Bolduc’s R.E.A.D. certified teams. Because Archie is so close to the ground, he is always close to the children and their books.
My therapy dog work is very enlightening and Archie continues to lead me on this journey. It has given me a meaningful way to make a commitment, and share my little dog, my passion, with those who need some joy in their life.