Barney Earns Top AKC Therapy Dog Honor for 400-Plus Visits

Barney Earns Top AKC Therapy Dog Honor for 400-Plus Visits

Barney THDD CGC owned by Leah Kochi of Orange, CA

I adopted Barney from a local shelter in 2008 when he was about 1 year old. Barney completed basic and advanced obedience training in 2009 to earn his AKC Canine Good Citizen title.

After becoming a registered pet therapy team in 2009, we started visiting assisted living homes where we spend time with residents in the Alzheimer’s units; a public library where children can read to the dogs; and a homeless intervention shelter where Barney likes to play with the children and make them laugh by running up and down their toy slide.

In 2011 we joined the volunteer program at a hospital where Barney provides comfort and companionship to patients, their families and the staff.

Besides spending time with old friends and making new friends on our pet therapy visits, Barney enjoys going on long hikes, practicing scent tracking and agility just for fun, and meeting his fellow pet therapy dog friends for lunch. Barney is registered with Therapy Dogs International and the AKC Canine Partners program for all dogs, including mixed-breeds and rescues.

With more than 400 pet therapy visits, he was awarded the AKC Therapy Dog Distinguished (THDD) title and gold medal on April 5, 2016.