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Kerry Counselling
Pet Therapy

Sophia Blue

Therapy Puppy (in training)

In Clinic: Tuesday/Thursday afternoons 

Sophia Blue is a Registered CKC Black Labrador Retriever therapy puppy-in-training for her CKC Canine Good Neighbor and CKC Pet Therapy certification. Sophia (and Kerry) are also working hard on skills to be certified in Animal Assisted Play Therapy. Sophia works with professional trainers learning all the important basic skills of being a polite puppy, and also the advanced skills for therapy dog work.

  • What is Pet Therapy?

    Successful pet therapy is based on the human-animal bond and involves three parts: pet, owner, and client. The purpose of pet therapy is to help people cope with health or emotional problems and make them feel good.

    Benefits of Pet Therapy:

    • Talk with the therapist and the dog

    • Feel, touch, pet and cuddle the dog

    • Receive unconditional love from the dog

    • Carry-out or practice an activity in the presence of the dog

    The goals of Pet Therapy may include:

    • increased self-esteem

    • increased verbal communication

    • developing social skills

    • increased willingness to join in activities

    • developing social skills

    • Increased feelings of joy, happiness, and reducing depressive symptoms.

    • decreasing loneliness, boredom, and isolation

    • reducing anxiety because of its calming effects

    • helping learn empathic and nurturing skills

    Potential risks of Pet Therapy

    o Possible allergic reaction

    o Possible trigger of a fear memory, or anxiety symptoms related to pet(s)/dog(s)

    o Possible scratches or other marks from physical interaction with the pet.

    Please inform Kerry if you prefer to opt out having Sophia along for counselling sessions.

  • Sophia Blue Blog

    Follow along on Sophia's training journey to become a Therapy Dog!!

    Blog #9: August 2023

    I'm back from holiday and so excited to see all my friends at the clinic again!! This summer I had so many fun and new experiences, like going shopping and drinking pupicinno's in Vancouver! But, my very favourite activities were running and swimming in the ocean, and playing with my cousins! I got to meet my 1.5 year old cousin and we played in the waterpark which was super silly and fun. Now I'm home and it's a little tricky for me to run and play with this heat wave and smoke, so I'm doing more napping, training sessions, and helping around the house. My mom is slowly bringing me back to the clinic to help me adjust after my holiday break and I look forward to seeing you again soon! 

    Blog #8 : June 2023

    Hi friends! I'm hanging out on the couch on a relaxing Saturday evening and I thought I would write a little update. I now join my mom at the clinic 2 days a week (Tues/Thurs, mostly in the afternoon) and absolutely love all the fun friends I get to meet. I'm starting to get to know some friends better and when I recognize you I'll give you the biggest bum wiggle, then run and get my toy! If you are new to me, I like to approach slowly and it helps if you stay still and let me come to you otherwise I get scared and will either bark or run away. With my friends help, I'm starting to get used to going into new places at Movin' Mountains like behind the desk and the hammock room, but my favourite place is my mom's room with my toys. Everyone has been so patient and kind with me, and it is really helping me build my confidence! Some friends have even made me my own treat pockets, and art work! My favourite thing to do is play games like tug-a-war, fetch, and even soccer and I love it when you join me on the floor because that tells me you want to play. Then after a good play, I'll be able to rest and relax. Thank you to all the wonderful friends I get to meet and play with! 

    Blog #7: April 2023

    Hi everyone, it's been a minute since my last here are my updates! Even though I'm now 1 year old (and apparently a teenager) I still feel like a little puppy with my big feelings. I get scared of new things or new people and will sometimes bark, or hide in my crate. I'm building my confidence on the trails, meeting new puppies and humans, but sometimes its feels like a lot and I'll bark. I love going to daycare and playing with my friends, and my favourite thing to do is have sleepovers and playdates with my best friends. I'm learning so much with my therapy training, but even better, my mom is doing her Animal Assisted Play Therapy training, too. So, we are both learning together. The Play Therapy is super fun, I get to play and be my silly self, and even make mistakes. Phew! way less pressure than typical therapy dog training. I'm stoked to get to play with kiddo's at my mom's work! 

    Blog #6: December 2022

    What a busy couple months! First of all, I just turned 11 months...that means only 1 month until my big 1 year party!! Before I tell you all about my upcoming party, let me fill you in on all my recent adventures. I've been having so much fun playing in all this snow!! I love playing fetch with sticks, and will carry a stick for most of my dog walks because sticks are the best. Playing "search" is the coolest game, it's where I have to search for my stick in the deep snow. Sometimes if I can't find it, my mom or dad come into the deep snow to help me. I've been relaxing more at therapy sessions with mom, and enjoying meeting new people, and getting lots of pets. It really helps when people are calm around me and patient. My cousin from Australia has come to stay with us for the last month and he is super fun to play with. He likes to sleep-in, but I have to wake him up early or else he'll miss out on all the fun! I've been working hard on my training and now can sit and wait at the door, sit and stay, come, stop, drop, down, paw, and my favourite "let's go!" I've been having the best holiday, but mom tells me its "back to work" next week!

    Blog #5: October 2022

    I'm now 9 months old and 35lbs. I haven't grown much over the last few weeks and my mom and dad wonder if this is as big as I'll get!? They keep measuring my height at the wall, and I've only grown an inch in the last 6 weeks. This was a big month, I had my first surgery and got spayed. The worst part was that I couldn't run, or play, or even hang out with my friends at daycare for two weeks! Thankfully, I'm fully recovered and living my best life again, just in time for all this new fresh snow! My dad took me for my first Fat Bike ride, and tomorrow we get to go xc skiing to these cabins where I hope there will be lots of treats. I've been hanging out with mom at her therapy space and starting to feel more comfortable. Sometimes when there is lots of noise, or new people I feel apprehensive, and I might even bark, but I'm working hard on managing my big emotions. I'm lucky that I get to hang out with really great people and everyone is so friendly and welcoming to me, it helps me feel more confident.

    Blog #4: August & September 2022

    Wow, so much has happened in a couple months! I am now officially a teenager (almost 8 months old!) and feeling very proud of all my learning. I feel so proud that I sometimes use my super duper loud voice to tell everyone! Last month I came home after a fun holiday on the coast meeting family, friends and swimming in the ocean. I had a few firsts, like first time in a boat, first time jumping off docks and first time meeting seals! Apparently seals are called the labradors of the ocean, but they didn't want to play fetch, so I don't think the title is very accurate. Now that I am home I am back in training and joining my mom once in awhile at her new therapy space. I like being at the therapy space because I can take a nap, but my all-time favourite activities are playing fetch, swimming, and being silly with my friends, oh, and of course eating snacks!

    Blog #3: July 2022

    Summer holidays are the best!  We are having so much fun meeting new friends on the trails, going to the lake, sharing snacks with friends at the park, and taking so many naps!  Its summer holiday, but mom & dad are still making me practice my basic skills like "polite greetings", "sit/stay" and walking on leash. Yesterday, a lovely couple on the trails told me I was doing a great job with polite greetings and they were super impressed I didn't jump on them even though I'm still a puppy! But, my biggest news is that I'm going on my first road-trip, all the way to the ocean! I can't wait to meet my grandparents, aunts/uncles and cousins and get to play in the ocean. I'll fill you in on all the fun stuff we do in my blog next month! Until then, happy summer and make sure to keep your paws cool!

    Blog #2: June 2022

    I have now completed both preschool and kindergarten group classes and feel very confident about taking my skills into the real world. My favourite activities are to go swimming, play fetch (frisbee, ball or stick), and eating treats! I especially enjoy playing with my puppy friends (my trainer says I play very nicely with my friends at daycare) and playing with my human friends. My little human friends are always fun to play with because they are closer to my height and have the same energy as me. My latest trick is to run between people's legs, even when they arent expecting it! Everyone laughs, its super fun!! I am in training every day, except Sundays, which are my fun day! My family takes me on fun adventures and we get to relax and have fun together. Tomorrow we are going paddleboarding at the lake and I can't wait to have a big swim and play.

    Blog #1: May 2022

    Today is my first day of Kindergarten, in the rain, outside working on my least favourite activity - leash walking! Yikes. I'm also not a fan of the rain, my soft puppy belly does not like to be wet and dirty. I was a superstar at Puppy Preschool, passed with flying colours, so I'll have to step it up to impress my teacher at Kinder and learn all the new skills and try my best not to whine too much. My favourite part of preschool was all the treats and meeting new friends. I hear we get lots of treats at kinder, too!

    I am currently resting in preparation for my big afternoon of learning. I heard we even get to go inside a shop for socializing training! Maybe my mom and dad will buy me a new toy!