Fred

Also known as “Sigmund Fred”, Therapy Dog AKC Canine Good Citizen

 

My name is Fred.  I am a therapy dog and companion animal for Mary Beth George.  Sometimes I join her in therapy sessions to offer comfort and support for her clients.

I was born on September 3, 2016.  My history is not clear but I know I was surrendered by my original owners to Montgomery County Shelter in 2018.  Because I am such a sweet and good-looking dude, the shelter turned me over to IDOG Labradoodle Rescue.  I needed treatment for heartworm before I could be adopted.  They received 50 applications and selected the George’s to be my fur-ever family.

Even though I was already a well-behaved dog, my mom signed me up for training with Bobbye J. Smith at Let’s Go Train Dogs.  Bobbye trains therapy dogs at Humble ISD and quickly realized I would be great at doing animal assisted therapy.  Over the course of a few months I completed all levels of training, including meeting the criteria to a be an American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen.

My mom completed a 2-Day Certificate Course in Animal Assisted Therapy to learn how to best utilize my charm and loving nature in her therapy sessions.  Here’s what I can offer her clients:

  • I always give a warm greeting.  I want to you to feel welcome in our office. I never judge people and accept you for who you are.
  • Please pet me to feel my soft fur.  It’s very comforting for both of us.  I am non-shedding so you don’t have to worry about fur getting on your clothes.
  • You can talk to me.  If you don’t want to talk to my mom or your partner, I will listen with great enthusiasm. I promise to keep everything you say a secret.
  • I sense when people need me.  If you are upset I may come and sit by you or put my head on your lap.  I help boost a hormone called oxytocin, aka “the cuddle hormone”, so if you pet me you might find it very soothing.  Studies have shown that the presence of a friendly animal can help reduce heart rate and blood pressure.
  • I work well with people who are stressed, anxious or have PTSD.  You can learn how to be calm by modeling what I do, such as slow breathing and being present in the moment.  If you put your hand on me and try to breathe like I do, you will be able to calm yourself more quickly.
  • Sometimes I will lay down by your feet.  I want to be close in case you need me.  Feel free to reach down and rub my belly.  It makes me very happy and I think you will like it too.  If I sense you are just fine I may take a nap on the other side of the room.  But if you need me, call me by my name and I will come sit by you.

If you are afraid of dogs or have allergies, I will be happy to take a day off from the office.  Mary Beth will always ask your permission before she brings me into a session, but please don’t hesitate to let her know that you prefer not have me in the room.  There will be a stuffed animal to take my place.