Bailey – TDI, Inc (handler Ginger)
From lonely shelter girl to pawesome volunteer – Bailey is paying it forward.
“Rescued from a shelter at age 3, Bailey is our foster failure that we adopted on Christmas Eve 2013,” reports Ginger. “Because of the calming effect she has on those around her, I decided to share that wonderful quality with others by doing therapy work in our area. Researching on the web, I found the testing requirements for Therapy Dogs International (TDI) and a list of future test dates and locations. Bailey and I began fine tuning her leash work and obedience commands in preparation of the multiple requirements for each test segment.” In March 2014, they travelled the 98 miles to Flagler Beach. Bailey passed her TDI testing, but Ginger soon discovered that certifying on their own and not going through an umbrella organization in their area would make it more difficult to schedule visits as an individual dog/handler team.
“Acceptance at facilities was a challenge,” reports Mom, “as Alliance for Therapy Dogs (ATD, formerly known as TDInc) is more widely accepted in Brevard County and approved visits by their umbrella groups’ certified teams have already been channeled through corporations and hospital boards. I had to contact and set up interviews with many facilities before finding those that would open their doors to Bailey and I as an individual TDI therapy team. It took time and perseverance, but Bailey’s genuine smile and sweet personality won their hearts and we do monthly scheduled visits at various rehab and senior facilities. As soon as we enter the front door, staff and patients call her name and wheelchairs and walkers come streaming down the hallway to greet us. The reward is being able to tag along on the other end of the leash and watch the joy that Bailey brings to each person she visits.”
Bailey received her AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) certification in 2015 and continues to pay it forward by expanding the facilities she visits. Bailey is a great mentor to her younger fur sibling, Rocky, and has taught him to be confident despite his visual impairment. They look forward to their bi-monthly visits to a memory care center, Bethasda on Turkey Creek and enjoy interacting with students on the Florida Institute of Technology campus.
Cody, another GRRMF canine volunteer, often joins Rocky and Bailey to spread joy at Fountains of Melbourne to both residents and staff.
Bailey and Rocky love children and enjoy teaching preschool students about therapy dogs – not sure who enjoys the interaction more!