DARLIN' DARCY: A Teacher's Golden Therapy Helper
Darcy followed in big brother Ollie's footsteps. Ollie
used to accompany Mom Rochelle into Harford
elementary schools to do Kindergarten demonstration work.
This helped youngsters who were fearful of dogs. It also
allowed children to learn some valuable dog safety lessons
within a comfortable and fun place.
Through the help of Frank Branchini, new
Executive Director for The Humane Society of
Baltimore County, we provided some fun-filled educational programs on behalf of the
Humane Society. Topics covered included basic safety issues, how Service Dogs help us to
have a better world, the human-canine bond, beginning obedience training, and dog agility.
(Read a special story detailing our Golden Family's work
in this and other areas)
FEB 22, 2000
Today, Darcy did a great job helping Girl Scout Troop 516 at the St. Johns School
in Westminster, Maryland. They wanted assistance in earning a badge about canines. We
spent two hours with a small group of nine youngsters (Kirsten, Erica, Taylor, Colleen,
Jessica, Katie, Sarah, Tara & Amanda).
They loved petting Darcy during the
presentation. And, they were so interested in learning about Service Dogs, and hearing the story about
Station Charlie as we read his book, Gas Station Charlie: A True Story about a Real
The youngsters also did a great job
listening about how to direct Darcy in basic obedience commands. Honestly, it was
wonderful to see how successful they could then be working with her. When we were through our presentation, the
girls just loved playing with Darcy and her new Wiggly Giggly Ball. And, the chance to
take photos with Darcy, who just wanted to be one of the girls, was such fun.
prizes and lots of fun handouts for later reading. We sure do hope lots of learning took
place. Thanks go to Pat Dahlberg, Girl Scout Leader, for arranging such a special
opportunity for her girls.
APR 27, 2000
Today, Darcy did a demonstration at
the Williams Scotsman Corporation in White Marsh, Maryland. Here she is sitting outside of
the entrance to a room filled with eager kids. Lots of great information was shared during
our talk and the handouts that were provided for each child. It was fun sharing the story
of Koko, the Gorilla who knows American Sign Language. And, it is always exciting to share
stories about how Goldens are enhancing people's lives through animal assisted therapy and
activities and service dog positions.
Darcy helped to make this corporation's
"Take Your Daughters & Sons to Work Day" a huge success. Several of the
children wrote thank-you letters and have all mentioned that their favorite part of the
day was Darcy.
As we were trying to publicize our upcoming
Gas Station Charlie book-signing party, letters were sent to
animal-friendly folks in the media. Well, we got a wonderful response from WJZ Channel 13.
They are surely by far the most animal-friendly television station in Maryland! It may
because of some of their personnel, though. It seems that Bob Turk, the weatherman for the
past 27 years, is a special friend to Goldens, having had several Golden Retriever family
Bob was certainly behind fellow WJZ personality (in the 1980's) Oprah Winfrey's
decision to add several Goldens to her family. And, Gail Bending, WJZ's On Air
Programming Director, is a very special friend to animals as well.
Gail arranged for Ron Matz, from WJZ Channel
to cover this event. And, he just fell in love with our girl. He was touched by the
children's love for her and the 'petting power' that she had. Kids just can't seem to keep
their hands off of Darcy, and want to simply hold her tight. Ron was also amazed by
Darcy's agility and flyball skills as well. Although he does not have a dog of his own,
Ron confessed that his wife is simply crazy for Golden Retrievers. Maybe she will have an
opportunity to become Darcy's friend as well. We always love to meet and befriend more
Go see the journey that Darcy took to
let others see the show. A videotape of her TV
appearance went from home in Maryland, all the way to South America.
MAY 11, 2000
Darcy's skills were featured today in "The Sunpapers" in Anne Arundel
County, Maryland. While it was not the best picture of our Golden gal,
article was a wonderful one. And, guess what? The author of the article
has a Golden herself.
MAY 14, 2000
Today, on Mother's Day, Darcy did a grand job with a large group of 4th, 5th and
6th graders. She did her thing at Reisterstown, Maryland's Temple Emanuel Sunday
School as part of their continuing studies about Mitzvahs and Tikkun Olam. When one does
Mitzvahs, they are doing good Things. Tikkun Olam refers to fixing up the world with
whatever talents and resources we have as individuals.
It was a very special day and Darcy really
charmed all of the children, as well as many of the teachers that attended. After the
talk/discussion and demo were completed, a remarkable thing occurred. An 11-year-old
youngster came up and told me about being interested in the animal-assisted therapy work
that I described. That is when Darcy is involved with me when I am doing psychotherapy
with kids that suffer from depression or anxiety problems. It seems that he just wasn't
really happy about going to his current psychologist and thought getting to work with
Darcy by his side might make a difference. As a result of that conversation, his mom did
call me and he did get to work with me, with both Darcy and Alfie at my side. What
wonderful four-footed therapists I have!
JULY 10, 2000
Today, Darcy worked more of her incredible charm on a famous, local radio
personality. We visited with dog lover, Linda Sherman, then of WQSR 105.7 FM Radio and
taped a 30-minute focus show on Animal-Assisted Therapy. A blonde herself, Linda couldn't resist our Golden girl. Darcy was a
little lady and barked a greeting at the beginning of the show. Then she proceeded to
remain at Linda's side, laying her head on Linda's lap.
A few times, Linda had to stop talking to
comment on how wonderful Darcy was and how she was so lovingly perched at her side.
Although Linda Sherman has a German Shepherd, I think she has a new love for Goldens! Later, as
Darcy saw that we were having a chat, she went into an open area on the carpet and took a
snooze. To close the discussion, Darcy barked a good-bye. Then, we happily had our picture
taken with Linda Sherman (since she is a pretty famous lady in our neck of the woods!).