Life as a Pets As Therapy dog
The English Toy Terrier who is also a qualified @petsastherapy volunteer dog.
Milo is a 6 year old English Toy Terrier owned by Jonny Nagler @jonnyandmilotheett
As well as being Jonny’s shadow – or is Jonny Milo’s shadow? (Let’s say they’re each other’s constant companions) – Milo is a trained Pets as Therapy dog and has been volunteering for 5 years.
To be accepted as a PAT dog Milo had to pass a number of tests to indicate that he had the right calm friendly temperament and was happy to interact with people – including those with both physical and mental health limitations and, that he was neutral in his reactions and responses to unusual circumstances or sudden changes in his environment or the people he’s around.
He also needs to behave the same way with other dogs and a variety of domestic animals from cats to police horses – and almost everything in between.
Basically he has to be bombproof. Luckily he is. Jonny says he can’t attribute this to specific training – rather more to Milo’s natural personality combined with being brought up in an urban environment (he also loves being out in the countryside, to ride on a paddle board or kayak – although not so keen if Jonny falls in!)
Milo works in two specific areas – with kids from 11-18yrs with Autism and Aspergers and with people who have experienced serious spinal injuries and or loss of limbs / paralysis and are starting their rehabilitation in special hospitals.
He also works with a group of new arrivals once they’ve healed from the physical injury that led them to be in a spinal unit and who then go on to learn how to walk again if possible with prosthetics, or otherwise with wheelchairs.
Being away from home for long periods of time, people who have suffered life changing injures often have PTSD or mental health issues when adjusting to their new way of getting around. They may even be missing their own dogs if they have one.
Milo sees them regularly through their recovery to provide therapeutic assistance (it has been proven that stroking dogs reduces heart-rate and blood pressure speeding recovery) until they are fit to return home. It’s also shown that dogs provide emotional support – as I’m sure we are all aware from our own dogs.
Milo can often be found attending various events around the country in support of Pets as Therapy – raising funds and finding new volunteers or just demonstrating what the services charity can provide.
What’s next for Milo?
Once lockdown is over Milo will be at @dogstival and @dogfest this year, with more fun dog shows to be announced here and on @jonnyandmilotheett. Why not go along and say hi? It will be a great day out and you can bring your dogs. He will also be helping @petsastherapy supporters @orvisuk fundraising at various events.
Finally it’s a great way to introduce people to our #vulnerablebreed ??
How has your ETT helped you through the last year?
It’s no secret that dog ownership provides measurable health benefits, that’s why therapy dogs like Milo are so effective!
Has your English Toy Terrier and other English Toy Terrier owners supported you this last year? We would love to hear from you.
- How has your ETT helped you through the COVID-19 Pandemic?
- Have you stayed connected to other ETT owners throughout the Pandemic?
- How have other ETT owners supported you at this time?
Stories can be submitted completely anonymously if you wish.