Animal Assisted Therapy, Education, and Activities Classes to return!!!

The Three Dogs Training Animal Assisted Therapy, Education, and Activities class returns October 30, 2021.

In the last twenty-two years I have taught at least one AATEA class each year except for 2020. I think we all know what happened in 2020…

When we visit people with our dogs we get to experience:
  • Seeing someone light up with joy when your dog comes to visit them
  • Seeing your dog bring – voice to the voiceless, awareness to those who sometimes lose their focus in this world, or give someone a moment not thinking about their pain
  • Watching a child relax as they read out loud to the dog who won’t judge them.
    • And finding that years later that the now-college-student still cherishes the bookmark she made of her picture reading with your dog.
Boo made them all smile at Maryknoll
Many years ago I wrote this and it stands the test of time:

It is a rare thing in humans to be able to look at the face of a person whose life has so obviously been harsh or has taken a turn in that direction without visible pity and anguish. And it is a rare thing for the person being looked upon to not see the discomfort in the face of the onlooker.

However, it is the dog, the cat, and the rest of our companion animals who do not see what has been, but who look only at the possibility of and need for joy that exists in all of us. For the animals, it’s not about pity, anguish, or guilt. It is about their exceptional and majestic gift of being able to tease out the joy in all things even where there seems to be none left. And it is this that allows them to often go where no person can go to do therapeutic work.

ljedwards 2001
Boo visiting another sister at Maryknoll
If you feel it is time to share the joy of your dog with others, the Three Dogs Training AATEA class will teach you the following:
  • Skills you will need to navigate your visits
  • Skills to support and advocate for the safety of your dog
  • And some little tricks to make the most of the visits for everyone

Since 2000, Animal Assisted Intervention has been a huge part of my life. I have done thousands of visits with three of my own therapy dogs, taught hundreds of teams (maybe more) to go out into the world and bring joy, learning, and therapy with their dogs. I have consulted on campus therapy dog programs for two residential special needs schools. And even my best-selling book “A Dog Named Boo” was re-released this July to get us all back in the animal assisted intervention frame of mind.

All the way back to the beginning, Dante 2000

I am very happy to be returning to my niche.

For more information.

To enroll

Class location

Boo is Back!!!

A Dog Named Boo How One Dog and One Woman Rescued Each Other and the Lives They Transformed Along the Way is back.

Originally published by Harlequin non-fiction in 2012, Hanover Square Press (a subsidiary of Harlequin) has released Boo with a new cover and expanded epilogue.

A Dog Named Boo, 2012
A Dog Named Boo, 2021

Boo made it to the London Times Bestsellers list in 2012 and hopefully our little best selling dog will make it into your hears in 2021.

Everyone who got a dog during the pandemic knows how our dogs support and heal us. Boo’s story is all that and more.

His website will be posting excerpts and has some fun baby-dog and silly pictures of Boo.

Baby Boo wrestling the gigantic Dante… click here for more…

Training with the Three P’s

Patience, Persistence and accepting that Perfect-is-not-all-it’s-cracked-up-to-be are fundamental to enjoyable and good positive reinforcement dog training.

Boo’s story in my book, A Dog Named Boo  is one of teaching…

…success in the face of struggle, unconditional acceptance of others, joy in all things, and that Patience, Persistence, and letting go of Perfect lies at the heart of all of these. Everyone who has potty-trained a puppy has used a type of ‘successive approximation’ like this.

Patience
– Cleaning up over and over until puppy begins to learn.
Persistence
– Getting the puppy out often enough so puppy can be rewarded for ever more successful behaviors.
Perfect is not all it’s cracked up to be –
– Sometimes we all make mistakes.

Boo was patient…

…when he taught me to give him the time he needed to learn things. Patience allows you take your time and let your dog show you who they are. Boo’s physical and cognitive limitations made it difficult for him to answer these questions quickly or at all sometimes.

Together we persisted…

…in his training for his Pet Partner’s evaluation because his working as a therapy dog was the only way he was going to have kids in his life. Each dog will need their humans to persist in training differently. Boo needed extra time to learn new skills and confront fears. When he was afraid in the truck I had shift from convention wisdom to ways that would accommodate Boo so he could learn how to love the truck at his own pace.

For Boo to achieve his goal of visiting kids, it was almost two years of outings that slowly worked on his basic skills and treat-taking abilities in public. I had to craft alternative cues that Boo could follow and understand, much like I advise clients whose dogs are visually or hearing impaired. They can and will learn their basics and maybe even more than one might imagine, but it will have a different shape and form from traditional cues and signals.

We both let go of perfect…

…when it came time for his therapy dog testing. I knew that in spite of his bumbling through the skills portion of the test, he would excel in the aptitude portion. Too often we get caught up in comparisons of one dog to another, yet one of the greatest gifts you can give your dog is to only compare them to where they started and how far they’ve come. Each dog will reach their fullest potential once we simply focus on each successive approximation as its own victory.

Boo never did things quite like any other dog, but it worked for him.

When I would ask Boo for the paw command he’d swipe his paw in the air as if he were searching for a light switch in the dark. It in no way compared to the perfect easy-going dogs who leisurely reaches out and gently places their paw in your hand.

But when Boo does it, you could see his effort and sense of accomplishment in his simple, wobbly gesture and it always brought a smile in spite of the imperfection and probably more so because of it—like everyone cheering for the little engine who could—or in this case the little dog who could.

Jacques Boosteau
The lessons of Boo can apply to so many elements of human and canine interactions…

…from dogs with special needs like him, to dogs who are reactive, stressed, need remedial socialization, and pretty much any dog who will be destined to work as a service or therapy dog.

We are the guardians and advocates for our dogs.

It is our job is to patiently observe what our dogs tell us then persistently and at their speed craft a training routine that suites them so they can become the best they can be given who they are.

Like Boo, all dogs have potential. Our job is to find it and nurture it.

September 2019 Animal Assisted Therapy Class Open for Enrollment.

Animal Assisted Therapy Class beginning November 3, 2018, Mahopac NY.

Three Dogs Training’s Animal Assisted Therapy Class is scheduled to begin September 7, 2019

Lisa has almost twenty years of experience visiting with her dogs and teaching Animal Assisted Therapy, Education, and Activities.

Because of her experience, the class starting September 7, 2019 will prepare visiting teams for various populations, facilities, and any testing required for certification.

Visiting dogs can put a smile on the face of a senior who misses her dog, or help someone in rehab work through his therapy projects for the day, or help children sit quietly as they read The Giving Tree. 

Sometimes, a visiting dog might even go for a walk with a person in a wheel chair who never thought they could walk a dog again.

There are a myriad more opportunities for visiting dogs to make a difference in a person’s life, including yours.

If you have ever wanted to visit with your dog, email Lisa, or call 845.228.2546.

Pet Partners Mini Workshop

Have you been considering visiting with your dog but would like to know a bit more?

Join one of the upcoming Mini Workshops either in

  • Putnam County on March 2nd – 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
  • New York City on March 3rd – 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Presented by Lisa J Edwards, Best Selling Author, A Dog Named Boo: The Underdog with a Heart of Gold, these workshops will cover:

  • Basic handling skills for Visiting Animal Assisted Therapy Teams and All pet owners
  • A brief outline of Pet Partners registration, evaluation, and visit expectations
  • This mini workshop focuses on supportive and trust building pet handling skills. It is appropriate for:
    • Individuals wanting to know more about visiting with their animals before their online course
    • Seasoned handlers looking for additional preparation before their evaluation
    • Handlers who took the online course but want a more personal instruction from an experienced therapy handler, evaluator, and instructor

To find out more about these workshops, go to Pet Partners and log into the Volunteer Center. There you will be able to register for one of these upcoming workshops.

A $45 fee will be collected at the time of the workshop.

  • Putnam County on March 2nd – 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
    • 411 Route 6N, Mahopac, NY – Church Basement
  • New York City on March 3rd – 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
    • 120 W 97th Street, New York, NY – Community Room

Additional questions? Contact, Lisa Edwards