Ms. Clibbens and her dog Georgie


Submitted photo

Clibbens with Georgie when he got his Canine Good Citizen ribbon.

Sara Harp, Copy Editor

Ms. Wendy Clibbens, Freedom Area math specialist, got a new dog about two years ago named Georgie. His breed is a Maltipoo, which is a cross between a poodle and a Maltese. Georgie is special because he is an emotional support therapy dog. Though Georgie does not have a certain age group of therapy patients that he works with, he is most helpful to senior citizens. This is because they could have had a dog earlier in their life and seeing another one could bring them joy. Along with the training that  Georgie completed, Clibbens had to go through tests to prove she was capable of becoming a trainer. One of the greatest things about emotional support therapy is that anyone can train with their dog to become a to become a therapy dog.

Though anyone can become a trainer, there are a few requirements according to Therapy Dogs International. There is no minimum age limit for handlers who pass the test without help. If you are under 18 an adult must supervise you during the test. Your dog must also be at least one year or older to complete the test, and be healthy. Finally you must be of good character to become a handler.