I had the opportunity to work with Abby (at Photos by Abby Rose) and I’m SO excited to share this interview with you guys.
1. Okay, can you tell us a bit about yourself and, of course, your puppy in training? 🙂
Sure! I’m Abby and I’m an active and adventurous teenager living on a small farm with a bunch of chickens, a few ducks, four cats, a large english shepherd, and a border collie/black lab. I love taking pictures, cooking, acting, reading, hinting, mowing, working with my dad, tearing down buildings and building new ones! I want to bring glory and honor to Him through whatever I do! My dog Winnie is the border collie/black lab I talked about. She is about 5 months old right now and is extremely smart!
2. Winnie is a labrador/border collie cross, right? How do you feel this has affected her growth/performance?
Yep! She definitely loves chasing birds and brings back her toys and anything she finds to chew on (the lab in her). Her obedience can be kinda overwhelming as she is a puppy but we’ve noticed that she understands very well and will try to copy what other dogs/people are doing (the border collie in her). She loves people and other dogs though sadly she has picked up the habit of barking at people so we are working on that. She is cage trained and always returns to her cage in the night. I think the border collie/lab is a great combination as it makes her smart and curious, loving and sweet, gentle and silly!
3. What kind of training have you put into Winnie so far? What kind of socialization?
So far she knows: sit, lay down, stay, come, no, up, and how to go up and down the stairs (that may not sound big…but it’s a huge accomplishment for her). She’s good on the leash…though she is a puppy so she gets a bit distracted at times and tries to wander. She’s been around many other dogs and is great with them! People just love her! She is so silly and sweet that most people don’t mind getting kisses from her. We’ve car trained her (though again she is a puppy and gets a little curious in the car). We’ve taken her to church (not inside…only to meet a few of our friends), a Memorial Day service, to my dog walking job, and we will be taking her on a trip to New York and hopefully Colorado soon!
4. What stood out to you when you met your puppy and what made you decide to train her for therapy work?
I found my puppy on a website called Greenfield Puppies and they had some awesome breeds for sale! When we went to the farm I had already fallen in love with her picture so it was awesome to pick her up and know she was mine! I’ve always wanted to train a dog for service but I didn’t want to have to give her up! I found out online that I could register Winnie as a therapy dog with little hassle and not an insane amount of training. I love that Winnie’s personality is so opposite of our other dog and that she makes pretty much everyone happy!
5. When you look to the future, what kind of work do you see you and Winnie doing?
Hopefully, she can be the first of many dogs! In a few years, I’d love to be able to bring her to nursing homes, hospitals, and more! I know for a fact that she doesn’t enjoy being chased by little toddlers so we need to work on that but I really want to be able to bring her with me…pretty much everywhere! I also would love to have her be the “grandmother/mother” to other dogs I later train. My parents and I were talking about me maybe training service dogs or some kind of police/military dog later in life!
6. BONUS QUESTION: Why do you think therapy dogs are valuable to people today?
Most animals have a bond with people. With a simple sloppy “kiss” or just being there to cuddle they could and can make someone’s last moments or first moments in life amazing! Not only can they make people feel less alone they can give that person a memory…a memory that causes them to hopefully smile. Therapy dogs may not directly save lives but they will make that person feel that life is worth it and will save lives in that way.
That’s it for our Q&A interviews, guys! Thank you SO MUCH, Abby! I’m looking forward to sharing a guest post with you all tomorrow. Meantime, you can find out more about Kassie and Abby on their blogs.
DAY ONE – July 15 – Introduction / Q&A with Alicia Picon
DAY TWO – July 16 – Q&A with Abby Rose / Q&A with Kassie Angle
DAY THREE – July 17 – Guest Post from Pearl Willis / Spotlight Post on soldiergirlstories.com
July 18 – That’s A Wrap on aneedtobreathe.com (The Why Behind the Blog Tour and a BIG Thank You!)