At All for Animals, we are so lucky to have a diverse range of breeds as our ARF! therapy dogs. This month, we’re talking to Audrey Joy, a Portuguese Water Dog, to find out what makes her tick. She took time out of her very busy schedule to talk to us—and thanks to her dog mom, Lynn, for letting her take the time!
Q: First of all, what IS a Portuguese Water Dog?
A: Thanks for asking! I’m so happy to be a Portuguese Water Dog, because our fur doesn’t make humans sneeze—we actually have real hair! My breed was once very useful in Portugal—we would swim and chase the fish into the fishermen’s nets. Unfortunately, they found some beepy thing to replace us dogs, which is sad, because that sounds like fun! Now we’re just awesome pets.
A: No, I was born somewhere called Connecticut, which doesn’t sound as nice as Santa Barbara. This place is the best! But when I was a puppy, I met my dog mom Lynn and it was love at first sight for both of us. She brought me here, and I’m so happy she did!
Q: Where did you start your career as a therapy dog?
A: I started at a wonderful place filled with older humans called Casa Dorinda in Montecito. It was so lovely! I got lots of pets and cuddles. Then Lynn heard about kids who needed help becoming better readers, and that’s when my real work began. I love my job! Over the past three years, I’ve volunteered at Hope Elementary School, the Santa Barbara Public Library, the Montecito Library, UC Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara City College, the Boys and Girls Club, Girls Inc., Transition House… yep, I’m pretty busy!
A: Sometimes as much as three times a week. But it’s not work for me—I really love it! So much so that it helped me through a tough time last year when I was very sick. Lynn had to take me to the Advanced Veterinary Specialists in Santa Barbara so they could take care of me. They did a great job nursing me back to health, and my motivation for trying to feel better was getting back to all my ARF! kids!
Q: Do you get a day off? And what do you do?
I do get days off! And when I do, I love a walk on the beach — it’s the best when Lynn lets me run free though the shallow water and chase the birds. I have a special trick for getting snuggles — I sit on humans’ feet and it usually gets me noticed for some petting! Car rides are great too; I know when we’re getting near the turn off to my favorite places… like Hope Elementary School.
Q: Do you have any favorite toys?
A: I used to, but now I love my ARF! job so much! It’s better than any toy on the planet! I haven’t looked in my toy box in ages, and I don’t miss it.
We’re so lucky to have dedicated ARF! dogs like Audrey Joy—she truly is a joy for all those she comes in contact with. Do you have a child who needs a dog to read to? Make sure to check out our schedule and join us for an ARF! session! Our fall session gets underway in September, so watch this space or our Calendar for updates.