By, Bunny Young, MA, QMHP
If you have visited the office in the past 3 weeks you may have noticed some bright and brand new changes. We have added some incredible interior design strategies to make our reception area even more inviting and we invested in some more Himalayan salt lamps for the energy and ambiance that they bring to our session rooms but that is not the BIGGEST change that you may have noticed.
As of December 21st we have been training our newest addition to the team to allow our Canine Therapist Goose to retire. He is a 137 pound Great Dane named Guinness.
He was obtained from a rescue group in West Virginia and he just turned 1 year old on December 15th. Although he is young, he has already taken right to his new job and is working hard both in the office, at home, and at his obedience training to make sure that he can support all of our clients to the best of his ability.
He will work on all three levels of his manners in a group setting and then take his Canine Good Citizen Test and Public Access Test before he goes for his Therapy Dog registration. We anticipate this taking a few months so that he can fully learn all of his manners and skills. In the meantime he is already supporting clients in sessions by demonstrating what being patient and understanding means when you are still learning in a relationship or a new environment.
Right now, Guinness is spending most days under the desk or on his bed, welcoming individuals to the office with a heart-deep, welcoming bark that we are working on so that he does not unintentionally scare anyone with his strong voice. He is a little shy but our amazing clients are already working hard to make him feel right at home. He enjoys his treats and sometimes makes a mess with destroying rawhides when he is in between clients. He is loving all of our groups that are starting up and looks forward to the many new faces that he will have a chance to get to know. If you have not had the opportunity to say hello to him please schedule your next appointment and ask to see Guinness! We look forward to continuing to lead the therapeutic community of Richmond in the area of Animal Assisted Therapy at Life Cycles Counseling.