I’m Blaze, a good boy who works at the Children’s Therapy Center. My two favorite activities are chasing tennis balls and helping kids.
As a facility dog, I come to the Children’s Therapy Center every weekday just like my human coworkers. A sign at the front desk will tell you if I am free to lend a paw during a therapy session. I love to go for walks, so I can help with tasks like gait training, and I’m great at turning on toys by bonking the switches with my nose. I also can wait patiently for a session to end and make myself available for petting and hugs as a reward for a job well done.
I received special training for two years — that’s equal to 14 years for you humans — at Duo Dogs in St. Louis, where I learned to be gentle and follow commands. I’ll admit I can’t read, but I’m told research shows that animal-assisted therapy can help kids in many ways, including motivating them to reach goals and making clinic visits feel more normal and less stressful.
A generous gift from Gary and Missy Pinkel’s GP M.A.D.E Foundation supports my upkeep, so I never run out of nutritious food or tennis balls. In my free time, I let my fur down and enjoy acting silly like any other dog. But when it’s time to work, I put on my blue vest and get serious about helping kids who are going through a rough time.
Get to Know Blaze
- Birthday: Feb. 26, 2019.
- Breed: Labrador retriever.
- Favorite treat: Peanut butter.
- Likes: Walks, hugs and snuggles.
- Pet peeve: Getting my nails trimmed.
- Favorite TV show: Mizzou football games.
- Favorite colors: Black and gold.
- Hobbies: Fetch, hide-and-seek and switch-adapted toys.
- Favorite toy: Tennis balls.
- Lunch hour activities: Running around in the fresh air on the playground and taking naps.
- Weekend plans: Playing soccer in the backyard.