Coco, the Pet Partners registered therapy dog, spent his first three years of life in a basement until his owner turned him over to a shelter. Dr. Elizabeth Lynch was looking for her next therapy dog and saw something special in him. He was completely untrained, missing a lot of hair, bow-legged and wild. He came with the name Coco, but her kids quickly added “nut” to the end because he was so crazy.
Dr. Lynch and Coconut began training with an AKC affiliate club. They repeated many classes but managed to advance slowly through the sequence. With exercise and care, his legs straightened out and his hair grew back in, revealing a small golden heart on his chest. One year after his adoption, Coconut passed his Pet Partners registration and now visits intensive care, cardiology, and cancer centers at hospitals. He even spends time as a reading therapy dog at several local schools. In 2016, Coconut received the AKC title of Therapy Dog Distinguished for making more than 400 visits to help others!
Recently, Dr. Lynch and Coconut visited their local high school. Coconut enjoyed seeing all the kids and Dr. Lynch loved hearing about their dogs at home and what they plan to do after high school. Following the visit, one of the teachers asked her students to reflect on the therapy animal session. Here are some of those reflections:
Thank you Dr. Lynch and Coconut for all you do for Pet Partners!
Story provided by Dr. Elizabeth Lynch