Therapy dogs Leo and Sparky
Solo's Sir Leonardo di Casa Strega (Leo)
CD, CGC, Cornel Companion & Therapy Dogs International
Leo has started his training early. He will learn on the job. Here he is now 9 weeks of age. Pictures and progress reports will be here as available.
Leo will be doing the job that Solo had done so well.
Following is the report from his first day.
WELL, LEO COMPLETED HIS FIRST WORK DAY WITH FLYING COLORS!! HE WON THE HEARTS OF CLIENTS AND STAFF ALIKE TOTALLY!!! HE IS UNBELIEVALBLY WELL BEHAVED. HE FOLLOWED ME AROUND TODAY (WHEN HE WASN'T SLEEPING) AND WHEN I STOPPED, HE WOULD SIT RIGHT BY ME. OF COURSE I PRAISED HIM WHOLEHEARTEDLY EACH TIME HE DID THIS. TODAY IT WAS NECESSARY TO PUT ON COLLAR AND LEASH--BOY DOES HE MOVE FAST!! BUT BY END OF DAY HE WAS USED TO THESE AND NOW I CAN START THE SERIOUS TASK OF TRAINING. THE DIRECTOR OF THE CLINIC ALMOST WENT BERSERK OVER LEO. HE IS JUST TOO CUTE FOR ANYONE TO RESIST. HE HAS HAD ONLY ONE ACCIDENT IN THE HOUSE. AND HE IS NOW TRAVELLING IN HIS CRATE VERY WELL, JUST AS WE HAD HIM COMING HOME FROM YOUR PLACE ON SUNDAY. TONIGHT HE DID NOT COMPLAIN AT ALL. HE IS SO INTELLIGENT, LEARNS INCREDIBLY FAST. I CAN'T WAIT TO START THE OBEDIENCE TRAINING. AND THE FIRST THING WITH BE TO COME WHEN CALLED! THANK YOU FOR LEO, HE IS TRULY A GIFT OF UNTOLD MAGINITUDE.
LOVE FROM US BOTH,
BETSY & LEO (YES, I HAVE CALLED HIM SOLO A COUPLE OF TIMES. HE REMINDS ME OF SOLO IN SO MANY WAYS AND YET HE IS DIFFERENT TOO IN MANY WAYS).
Hi Joy, I'm sending this again. Today I had trouble getting a dial tone and finally discovered Leo had chewed my phone cord! So I don't know when the problem started.
I am having a ball with Leo!!! Just need to tell you his two funniest antics so far. Wednesday night I was running my parent group in another room for an hour and left Leo sound asleep in my office. My office neighbors heard him raising a fuss, but I neglected to tell them they could go in and bring him to me. They said then he quieted down. I entered my office and couldn't find him! Then I did. He had climbed into my LL Bean canvas bag and was curled up waiting for me. He wasn't going to be left behind! Actually, that wasn't all funny--I felt badly that he felt so neglected.
Last night, when everyone else had left, Leo was outside my office and I had my umbrella open on the floor to dry out. He got ahold of the edge and took off down the hall with this huge umbrella! I couldn't even see him, as he was going backwards, and had a heck of a time catching him--I laughed so hard I had to cross my legs!
He has definitely imprinted on me. He watches for me when others "dog sit" him (they fight over who's going to be picked) while I do short errands in the building, and gets all excited when he catches sight of me. He is great with the children.
love from us both, Leo & Betsy
LEO AT WORK
I just wanted to tell you how beautifully Leo is developing as a therapy dog. Seems like since his first birthday he has really settled into his work. Last night a 14-year-old boy, very resistant about coming to therapy, held him on his lap. Leo took the boy's head in his paws, one paw on each side of his head, sniffed at his lips a moment and then proceeded to thoroughly kiss him on the lips and all over his face. The boy was ecstatic!! I never saw anything like it. Of course, this kind of loving isn't for everyone, but Leo seems to know when it is needed and appropriate.
I would like to get him certified soon with International Therapy Dogs. I have a list of people who test in this part of NY. This would entitle him to certain privileges. He already flies free with a letter from my work place. But the certification would make it really official.
Love, Betsy, Leo
Leo is growing up so quickly.
Here are two snaps taken in December.
March 5th 2005
Oh yes, much to report about Leo! He continues to bring much joy to his workplace. I get so much feedback from colleagues and clients regarding the effect he is having, very positive. He has grown into a most handsome boy. Don't know his weight at this time, but he is at least Solo's size now when Solo was at his prime. Next week is our last puppy class and graduation. He got special recognition for his heeling at our last class. He is fearless, SO full of pep. I wish you could see him in the snow. We had a long walk today on the recreation trail near my house where the snow is undisturbed except by skiers. He seems to fly from drift to drift, the deeper the more he enjoys it and the snow flies!! Right now I hear him barking at a passing dog probably. His favorite perch is the back of the couch where he views the neighborhood, his hind legs actually follow him right up to the top of the couch back in his enthusiasm. It would be great fun to come visit you. Maybe in the spring?
Much Love, Betsy & Leo
Sent: Saturday, July 09, 2005 10:20 PM
And Happy Birthday Leo!! He is very well and thriving. Did I tell you we passed the CGC?
Anniversary time for Solo's passing. I have been thinking of him so much--I know now why they say anniversaries are hard. I never went through this with a human.
Much love from me and Leo.
Cornell Companion Official portrait
Congratulations to Leo. He is now a certified therapy dog
Leo takes a break on a hike Leo birdwatching out window
NEWS FLASH !
Recently this photo was published in the periodical of the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology. Leo is the official conference mascot! He has attended this annual conference with me since he was a tiny pup, in 2004! Hotels usually give him special privileges to navigate freely around the premises to the delight of patrons. Here he and I are paying strict attention to a keynote speaker at last October's conference in Tampa FL. Really, Leo just sits erect and listens with great interest, and occasionally has astute contributions to make. He's an ambassador for the great value of the human/canine bond in mental health work. He has influenced a number of colleagues.
Incidentally, I just got final approval for my book, Kids in the Psychiatric Maelstrom, to be published by Praeger Press, for release next September!!
Love and best wishes,
Betsy & Leo (Sparky says "me too.")
Betsy and Leo Oct. 2008
Casa Strega Sparkle of Sterling Silver
Betsy visiting with her Sparkle boy when he was 6 weeks old.
Sparkle went home with Betsy at 10 weeks of age
He will be in training on the job as Leo was.
Sparkle at 10 weeks Sparkle and Leo playing tug o war
Leo on left & Sparky at 10 months on right Sparky (3 months old) after 1st haircut
Sparky is now registered as a therapy dog with Cornell Companions
He passed his test Saturday Sept 29th 2007.
Official Cornell Companion Portrait