Therapy Dogs and Addiction Recovery

Happy Birthday, Rodie!

We are happy that our therapy dog Rodie has turned one year old! Our therapy dog has been with us now 9 months, and boy is he learning and growing! Some of you may have remembered our previous blog post where we first introduced Rodie and explored therapy dogs. He was just a small, playful pup who enjoyed chewing shoelaces and eating toilet paper. He has since traded in the shoelace chewing for paw shaking and learning some other pretty cool commands.

Therapy Dogs and Recovery

At Bridging the Gaps, we look forward to the future with Rodie and the therapeutic value he will add. Therapy dogs are any intervention that intentionally includes [animals] as part of a therapeutic process. Research has shown many benefits such as reducing stress and anxiety, while adding a sense of comfort and acceptance.

“Rodie will be an asset to our clients and team. He already has developed such a personality and presence. It has been rewarding to see how much he has grown, and the potential he has gained to do amazing work”. -Pam Reiman, Executive Director

 In the Training to Come… #Therapydoginthemaking

There are a few steps Rodie still has yet to complete before he receives certification. Firstly, he will have to complete 4 training courses in preparation for his test with AKC. He will also have to complete a Good Canine Companion Exam.

All of the previous steps are to then prepare him to enroll in Therapy Dog School where he will acquire the skills to fulfill his job here at BTG.

You’re Growing Up, Pup

Over the months, it has been a joy to see how Rodie his growth and learning has taken off. Here are some pictures that have been taken along his 1 year of life journey.

Some looming questions:

Is he working with the clients now?

No, he is still training and working his way towards certification with Therapy Dogs International. He has frequent interaction, however, he has not yet been incorporated into direct clinical interactions.

What are some of Rodie’s favorite things?

People, animals, and toys (namely sticks). Rodie has yet to meet a person or animal or object that he has not immediately loved.

What was the inspiration for Rodie’s name?

In recovery, the term “road dogs” references the sober, supportive community one surrounds them self with. His name was abbreviated using that concept.


For more information about our clinical program click here! Leave a question in the comment section with anything else you would love to know about Rodie and his future adventures!

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