This month’s In the Spotlight features Molly, a beagle mix who had a pretty tough life before ending up with a wonderful human here in Santa Barbara.
Q: Hi Molly! We hear you’ve been certified as a therapy dog.
A: Yes! I got certified through Love on a Leash last year. Now I volunteer as an ARF! (Animals + Reading = Fun!) therapy dog with my human, Elizabeth, at the Santa Barbara Public Library and at Santa Barbara City College during Dog Therapy Day.
Q: How do you like your work with ARF!?
A: OMG, I love it! I always know when we’re headed to the library. I stand on the car seat and wag my tail as hard as I can when we get to the parking garage. I love seeing those kids!
Q: But you’ve had a few adventures in your life prior to being a ARF! dog, is that right?
A: Yes, that’s true. I survived the horrible storm in 2006. I was so scared! I think they called it “Katrina,” but all I know is that the humans in New Orleans and here in Santa Barbara used fancy computer talk to find me in St. Bernard’s Parish. I was in something called “Camp Lucky,” and I was put in a big airplane with 100 other doggies and flown to Los Angeles, then Ventura County Humane Society in Ojai, where Elizabeth found me. I’m so happy!
Q: We hear you had a few adventures here in Santa Barbara too…
A: Have you been to Hendry’s Beach and the Douglas Preserve? I love those places! My human, Elizabeth, takes me there every day. Last year, I was so excited up at the Douglas Preserve that I fell off the cliff. THAT was scary! I hurt my hip, but I’m all better now.
Q: What’s been the best thing about being in Santa Barbara with Elizabeth?
A: Well, it was really hard for me after surviving the storm. It was hard for me to trust humans again. But Elizabeth was so kind, and kept trying so hard to get me back to being a good dog again. I was so scared of anything with a flame, and I would be so scared I’d sleep in closets. She helped me learn how to eat out of a bowl again, walk on a leash, and even enjoy delicious treats! It was so hard for me to trust humans again, but I’m so happy she found me. Now I’m totally a marshmallow in her care—I love all the love she gives me.
And I love the kids at ARF! That’s one of my favorite things about being in Santa Barbara!
Are you touched by Molly’s story? There are plenty of dogs (and cats!) in our shelters who have also had challenging starts to their life, but are more than worthy of the love, dedication and responsibility required to take care of a deserving pet. Check our local shelters to give a loving dog, cat or other pet a true “furever” home.
If you don’t have a dog at home, but have a young child who you think would benefit from the ARF! program, please click here to find out when and where you can attend an ARF! event. See you soon!