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naturalpet


Dogs at Work


Finding the Right Dog for the Job


by Sandra Murphy Download Natural Awakeníngs'


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very dog needs a meaningful job. Like us, some need help figuring out what they want to be when they grow up; others choose their own specialty. With imagination and experimentation, even a problem pooch can became an unexpected blessing.


Comforting Companions


A 7-year-old hound and canine-style Houdini named Gumby was adopted seven times, surrendered to the shelter eight times and thrice became a stray. An unprecedented 11 return trips to the Charleston Animal Society, in South Carolina, convinced the staff he prefers shelter life. Now his self- appointed job is comforting and helping new arrivals adjust to their temporary home. Dentist April Patterson owns Dr. Patty’s Dental Boutique


and Spa, in Fort Lauderdale. After attending a local Humane Society fashion show, she returned to her office with Oliver, a four-pound Pomeranian mix of undetermined age. This cutie’s job is to steady nervous patients. “It wasn’t planned,” says Patterson. “Oliver will bark nonstop when left alone, but being one of the staff makes him happy. Meeting Oliver is part of our hiring process.” Dory, a yellow Labrador certified therapy dog, is


approved by the San Diego district attorney’s office to offer aid in court when a victim or witness testifies in front of the defendant. “Dory was the first court support dog in Califor- nia and the city’s first of five dog and handler teams,” says Kathleen Lam, a retired attorney and dog handler. “The dogs


24 Austin Edition AustinAwakenings.com


Minerva Studio/Shutterstock.com


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