One very welcome volunteer who visited Therapy & Fun this summer was Kobi, the therapy dog. He is a five-year-old 115lb Great Dane/Lab/Pit Bull mix, and the phrase gentle giant fits him very well.
kobigiant2
His owner Debbie, and her daughter Rachel Weinrick, wanted to do something community-minded and include Kobi in the fun. Rachel, long-time CTC volunteer, current summer program staff member, and undergraduate in Grand Valley State University’s speech-language pathologist program, decided to train him to become a therapy dog.
His education began at West Michigan Therapy Dogs, training him to be good around children and adults with disabilities in clinics as well as around hospitals and medical equipment. He stays calm in unexpected situations like when there are loud noises or abrupt movement, and he knows how to walk with people who use wheelchairs and walkers. Needless to say, he was a hit at Therapy & Fun.
kobigrouplove
When he’s working, he wears a vest and he knows it’s time to be gentle while hanging out with humans, not playing with other dogs. He likes laying still to get pet, as well as going on walks with his friends.
kobichill kobiwalk
 
 
Kobi has epilepsy, but it doesn’t stop him from visiting people and making new friends. He’s a good example of how having a disability doesn’t need to keep you from doing what you want to do, it might just change how you go about doing it. He’s great at his job, and he visits hospitals and participates in Ruff Readers at the Kent District Library. The only thing he has a hard time with is that he gets scared when someone sneezes.
We were so happy to have him come play with us at Therapy & Fun this year and we hope to see him again soon!
kobihug