When Casaundra played Dognition with her dog Winnie and found out she was a ‘Socialite’ with unusually high empathy scores, Casaundra realized Winnie might have something special to share.
‘Knowing that her empathy scores were off the charts motivated me to pursue our volunteer work as a therapy dog team.’
Winnie was found at a puppy mill that was so horrific that it was shut down by local law enforcement and the North Carolina Humane Society. Winnie was only 10 weeks old, and in such poor health that she almost did not survive.
With extensive medical attention and love from Casaundra, Winnie slowly recovered. Although Winnie still weighs only three pounds, what she lacks in size, she makes up in spirit, which makes her a perfect companion to the children she visits.
‘She knows when it’s time to be engaging or time to be still, and she is always gentle and comforting,’ says Casaundra.
Casaundra also played Dognition with her parent’s dog, and when she compared the results, she found that Winnie relied more on her gestures than her parent’s dog did.
‘Knowing that Winnie looks to me to solve problems helped me realize she wanted guidance from me, especially in the unpredictable environments we encounter in the hospital.’
Over 400 visits and a gold medal from the AKC later, Winnie is dedicated to raising awareness for therapy dogs everywhere. You can follow her adventures using the links below.
Facebook: Winnie, Therapy Dog