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Culpeper Times • October 11-17, 2018

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➤ Dogs, from Page 4 Many times folks will say that just petting Neska has made their day!” Riley said that basic obedience is a must for therapy dogs and they must pass the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test. The CGC test consists of 10 different points evaluating you and your dog on basic obedience cues, like walking politely on a leash and not pulling you down the street, being able to walk next to you (the handler) through a crowd of people and stay with you, and being able to sit politely while a stranger pets them. “Once you and your dog have the basic obedience down, then you must be evaluated by a therapy dog organization’s evaluator,” Riley explained. “We (Chapter 191) are certified by Therapy Dogs International, Inc out of New Jersey, but there are numerous organization out there, however

most facilities will only work with one organization.” The pet therapy test consists of 15 different points and evaluates your dog’s temperament around other dogs, people, medical equipment, and different scenarios that you might encounter during a visit. Some of the points include the dog waiting politely while the handler fills out paperwork, or the dog walks up to someone and they offer them a treat and the handler has to tell the dog to “leave it” and the dog cannot take the treat. The dog has to show a willingness to visit with a stranger and demonstrate that it can be made readily accessible for petting – small dogs can be put on a lap or held, medium / large dogs can sit on a chair or stand near the individual to be easily reached. After getting close to an hour of petting and loving, Neska and Mur-

phy left the jail. Murphy said that Neska is usually exhausted after working on a therapy session - almost like she absorbs all the emotion those in the therapy session exhaust. Neska has also become a minor celebrity to those she visits - which is one of Murphy’s favorite stories to tell about Neska’s last trip to Puerto Rico. “Last winter, Neska and I volunteered at a boys and girls club in Puerto Rico,” she said. “Through this volunteer work, she became quite well known to the children on the island. One afternoon, we drove to a remote beach for an afternoon swim. There was a large family birthday party being held at the beach. One of the little girls recognized Neska and was so excited to see her she ran to our car followed by many of the other children at the birthday party. Our car was mobbed before we could park, and all because

they knew Neska.” Neska was mobbed outside the jail as well as employees from the magistrate’s office and jail personnel were excited to see her and give her some extra loving. Riley, who takes her dog Kayla to many therapy events and plans to visit the jail next month, said that just comes with the territory. “This is a very rewarding experience,” she said. “There have been so many times when you walk into a room with your dog, and the person you’re there to visit just lights up because the dog is there. Nursing Home and Hospital staff have a tough job, and for them to be able to take just a few minutes during their day and kneel down and pet a dog, you can see the stress leave them for a few minutes. Some staff when they hear we are in the building, track us down, just so they can have their dog petting moment.”

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Culpeper Times | Oct. 11, 2018  

Flight of Fancy | Town council supports Culpeper Medical Center imaging center | and more

Culpeper Times | Oct. 11, 2018  

Flight of Fancy | Town council supports Culpeper Medical Center imaging center | and more