Emma the Therapy Dog

Emma was originally trained as a Guide Dog for the blind. Unfortunately (or fortunately) Emma was ‘too friendly’ to be a Guide Dog.

Emma was originally given by the Guide Dog Association to a family. They decided to polish the floorboards of their home and after this, Emma was no longer allowed inside in case she might scratch the floor.

Emma was locked out in the yard and slept in the outside laundry. She was not walked very often and was very unfit and emotionally neglected when she came to live with Shannon in 2005.

It soon became obvious that Emma is a very relational dog, with a great big heart, and loves people. Emma is gentle, sensitive and loving.

Emma started coming to work with Shannon and she takes her role in the practice very seriously. Emma sees it as her job to meet and greet everyone.

She likes to make everyone feel welcome and accepted just as they are.

Emma particularly loves to work with people who have had a hard time in their lives at the hands of other humans. Sometimes people have been neglected, abused and/or traumatised by other humans and because of this, they have a lot of difficulty trusting people. Emma hopes that they are able to trust animals, so that she can bring her gentle, loving presence into their lives and their therapy.

Emma knows that just being with someone in a warm, accepting and non-judgemental way can go a long way toward healing some deep wounds of the heart, spirit and mind. So that’s just what she does.

Emma also knows that maybe if someone can learn to trust her gentle, loving and accepting presence, it might just help them to be able to slowly trust the other human in the room and over time be able to engage in some of the healing capacities of a therapeutic relationship.

Emma does not have to involved in therapy with you. Some people aren’t overly keen on having a dog in the therapy space with them, some people are scared of dogs, and others just plain don’t like dogs.

Emma is used to staying out of the therapy space when it’s not appropriate for her to be there, and she is not involved in relationship counselling.