If Tanner could talk he would tell you that the most wonderful thing about being a therapy dog is seeing the excitement of the children at the elementary schools when he comes into the room; they love to pet him and learn more about dogs. Higher education students have also found comfort in Tanner’s happy attitude. “College and university students are stressed out about final exam week and the dogs make them feel better,” says Rodger. Tanner, a selective kisser, made one of the students feel better after she had failed an exam, he allowed her to hug him and in return he gave her some doggie kisses.
Tanner was rescued by GRRMF and adopted in 2015 by Rodger. This awesome pair have been participating in therapy work for four years. Their favorite places to visit are the retirement homes, the Clearwater Homeless Empowerment Project (HEP), elementary schools, colleges, universities, after school programs and the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay.
One of the places that Team Tanner frequents is The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, which is a non-profit organization that offers help and hope to people of all ages who are dealing with serious life challenges. Rodger tells an endearing and rewarding story about one of their visits. “We were in the children’s section, Tanner was on the sofa with two boys wagging his tail and getting rubs, when a young girl asked what my dog does. I said, “he comes around and makes people happy,” and she replied, “you know what, I feel happy today.” That one small exchange between two people and a dog made Tanner and Rodger’s trip to Tampa a great day.
Tanner and his handler Rodger are looking forward to expanding their therapy work at different facilities. They will be branching out to meet many diverse groups of people through their continued visits coordinated by GRRMF and with the Airport Therapy Dog Team work through the Project PUP organization. This news makes Tanner very happy, he wags his tail as if to say, “Roger that!”
Project PUP certified
Hearts of Gold Therapy Team
St. Pete/Clearwater Airport Therapy Dog Team