On Dec. 16, 2018, I met with a woman who needed some help with her dog, who was in training to become a certified Therapy Animal. Her boy was having a bit of trouble staying calm around other dogs, and she wanted to get some help from other dog owners. I offered to help, and that first meeting became a 6-week process where we worked together twice a week to help her and her boy prepare for their evaluations.

That woman and her dog was Anne and Fonzie. What began as a bit of a disconnect between them became finely tuned, near-perfect team work, and I am so very excited and proud to write that last night, Anne and Fonzie passed their final exam. Fonzie is now a certified Therapy Animal. CONGRATULATIONS, Team!

This is an extraordinary achievement for this amazing team. Not only is Fonzie 8 years old, he is actually the first dog in Calgary to receive this type of certification under the new specialized Therapy Dog Program, which was introduced by The Lifeline Canada in late 2017.

Anne and Fonzie have worked incredibly hard over these past 6 weeks, and I could not be more proud of them for that. I’m especially proud of Anne, who, six weeks ago, was struggling with a lack of confidence in herself and trust in her dog. Watching the transformation take place in her as she’s worked to become the strong, confident leader Fonzie has needed has been a joy and a privilege beyond words.

So, here’s to you, Anne and Fonzie! Congratulations, Team!


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