Molly THDD owned by SMSgt Jim Salgado, of Tampa, FL was found wandering a cattle field in Odessa, Florida in late 2014. She was dropped off by a van, which sped off leaving her among the cows and horses. A local equine doctor and his wife found her and after weeks of searching for her owner (Molly had no microchip or local registration or ID tags), contacted Jim since he knew he was looking for a dog to train for all venues in a therapy dog program.
Jim already had one dog, a German Shepherd named Max, in the program, Canines for Christ, a faith-based therapy dog ministry. Once adopted, Molly was entered into a training program where she quickly learned basic obedience. “Although she had a number of behavioral issues, I was successful in helping her work through them. Molly successfully passed the Canine Good Citizen exam, all 10 test items with no deficiencies, first time! She then began as a therapy dog earning her first title as AKC Therapy Dog in the first month,” said Jim.
Molly earned her AKC Therapy Dog-Advanced within two years of her first title. She was a push-button dog in that she showed remarkable abilities with any situation she was introduced to, from the elderly and frail to the young toddler ages where children can be colicky and it’s in this venue that Molly excelled, calming a crying child in seconds.
She went on to take part in veterans’ cases with Jim, a US Air Force member, and Operations Director to the 13th Judicial Circuit, Veterans Treatment Court. It was in that venue and with working with special needs children that Molly showed just how well prepared she is for both therapy and service work. Her work and temperament led her to be dually qualified as an AKC Therapy Dog and PTSD Service Dog.
Her final tasking came when she was requested to take part in the first annual Rally for Children at Argosy University in Tampa, Florida. This is an event sponsored by the Diversity Action Coalition in Tampa whose mission is to support all issues regarding children with special needs and the Autism Speaks foundation. “As a direct result,” said Jim, “this fantastic little rescue dog with her abilities and talents was awarded the AKC Therapy Dog-Distinguished title. That, coupled with her PTSD Service Dog certification, makes this dog an invaluable asset to children, adults, our special needs community and America’s veterans in the Veterans Treatment Court.”