Goldendoodle takes a paws for healing
By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD — Bora looks like any other family pet. She is a 4-year old Goldendoodle, a mix of a golden retriever and a poodle, filled with energy and affection. She enjoys the touch of a hand or just being able to lean up against a willing individual, but Bora is unique.
“She belongs to my daughter, Jessica,” explained Mary Paul. “Bora and I went through the dog obedience training at Wisconsin Rapids Kennel Club. Then we went to therapy dog training at the same place.”
From there Bora and Paul were tested to achieve certification at Camp Bundy in Amherst Junction.
The certification is accredited by Therapy Dogs International, a New Jersey volunteer organization dedicated to the regulation, testing, and registration of therapy dogs and their volunteer handlers for the purpose of visiting nursing homes, hospitals, and other institutions.
The idea came to Paul, a retired reading teacher, from the book “Rosie: A Visiting Dog’s Story.”
“When I retired, I thought, ‘That is what I want to do,’” said Paul.
Paul started training with her dachshund Daisy, but over time the dog became less tolerant and retired from healing work. Then Mary began working with Bora.
At 2 years old, Bora began visiting Marshfield’s Companion Day Services and the House of the Dove.
“We go to the House of the Dove and visit at least once a month,” Paul said. “A lot of times we are giving therapy to the nurses with the hospice more so than the patients.”
“As a Goldendoodle, the poodle in her does not shed. That is why she is good at hospitals and such. People aren’t allergic to her,” Paul added.
On Aug. 3 Paul and Bora were at the Marshfield Public Library, where Bora patiently listened as children read to her, along with fellow therapy dog Mya and her trainer, Michelle Sinn, for the Tail Waggin’ Tutors program.
For more information on Therapy Dogs International, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 973-252-9800.