January 2016 – Meet the Team

When did you and Jasper become a team? – Jasper and I officially became a therapy team in 2015. He’s a 4-year old English Golden Retriever who was recently described by a trainer as “having a wonderful ability to communicate (without human speech) the priceless gift of “joie de vivre, or joy of living. He brightens our day with his infectious cheerful attitude.”

What other partners have you had? – Shila, a rescued Alaskan Malamute was my first therapy animal in 2010. She visited all range of folks and was responsible for many special moments that bring tears to one’s eyes. She continues to be a part of our household but retired in early 2014 due to age and difficulty getting around.

In what type of facility are you visiting? – We don’t currently visit in a facility.

In what other Therapy Animals activities do you and your partner participate? – Jasper and I participated in the Alamo Heights holiday parade (he had a blast) and I have manned educational booths. Jasper is looking forward to helping with a future de-stressor.

Tell us something about your partner that we may not know. – As a young dog, Jasper has required considerable training to mature to a point of being ready for evaluation. In the process, he has earned his CGC, Beginning and Advanced Rally titles, along with the obedience Beginner Novice and Novice A (Companion Dog) titles. Hopefully, his future will include a few more titles as we continue to hone his skills.

What Therapy Animals leadership position(s) do you currently have? – I am currently in the 2nd year of a 2-year term as the President of TASA.

What other leadership positions have you had? – As a relatively new TASA member, I filled the Evaluation Chair role where I was able to meet many members and learn much about the organization and being a therapy team.

Tell us something about yourself that we may not know. – I continue to participate in the screening and evaluation process. I encourage all members to participate in the organization. Be an actor in an evaluation or help with the check-in process, help with presentations and other activities, and actively participate in the leadership process of TASA. MANY opportunities are present to connect with the other teams and volunteers.