The Therapy Dog Chronicles: I Hate Labels

I hate Labels _ Junior
I hate Labels
_ Junior

Labels. They are so unnecessary.

Meet Junior, my therapy dog partner. Here he is the month we adopted him. Smiling.

When we first met, he was an 11 month old homeless golden retriever in an animal shelter. He came into my home as a foster dog, waiting for his forever home.

He never left.

Junior is proof of the power of second chances. At one year old, Junior was left by his owner at the shelter. My rescue group pulled him from the shelter and I fostered him. I saw something in the exuberant, red charmer who so readily greeted people with a flashy smile and an eager paw shake. So began our road to rescuing each other through helping others as a therapy dog team.

We work as a registered Pet Partners therapy dog team and a registered Reading Education Assistance Dog team. Our partnership combines my love for teaching and helping people to read and my passion for working with animals with Junior’s people skills, and charisma. In addition to his therapy and reading work, Junior works as an Ambassadog for animal rescue. Junior works the crowd at community events to encourage the adoption of homeless pets as he and I tell his story of redemption and second chance as a well-loved and busy therapy dog and a “Retriever Reader”.

When we share snapshots, I am often asked how I get such a lively golden to model so many of the fashion forward hats we feature on The DailyJuniorBlog.

The secret is revealed.

Junior is not allowed on any bed in our house except the one he is sitting on in the photo. To this day, if I let him sit on this bed to take his picture, he will wear any outfit I present to him. And smile.

Oh, how he loves that bed.

Junior fills many roles in my life; confidant, security patrol, jester, comforter, fitness coach, mindfulness model, squirrel ,cat and possum monitor, social director, alarm clock and nap companion.

But The Mama’s Boy label fit then. The label fits now. But he doesn’t need to wear the bandanna.

We know.

3 thoughts on “The Therapy Dog Chronicles: I Hate Labels

  1. I love the foster failure label – I am a failure at fostering too! And have enough cats (and a couple dogs) to prove it. Beautiful pup!

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