PawKandie the Therapy Pittie

Kandie the Therapy Pittie and her handler, Kelly, visit weekly at Copper Hills Youth Center. Their visits have such a positive influence that the youngsters’ excitement bubbles over to the day before and the day after the visit. Kandie’s visits have such a good influence that one day as Kandie and Kelly had just finished their visit and were about to leave, one of the leaders asked if they could come back and spend a few minutes one-on-one with a boy that had come in late. Kandie helps teach life lessons. One day when Kandie was visiting, an upset youngster had a tantrum that scared Kandie. This provided an opportunity for the rest of the group to move to another room, take deep breaths to relax and understand that the negativity of one person affects the whole group. Kandie inspires artistic endeavors like the coloring shown here. Kandie also gives the youth something to look forward to beyond their stay at the center, as one inspired boy said, “I’m gonna do this with my dogs when I get out of here.”

The opportunity to get Kandie to do tricks allows the boys to be kids instead of having to maintain a tough exterior in a lockdown facility. Kandie follows basic obedience commands, but she’s a little uncomfortable with the “roll over” command. The boys understand being uncomfortable with certain things, and one day when Kandie rolled over for them, the boys jumped up and down, and the group cheered as if someone had scored a touchdown. They shared in her success. Kandie also plays “watch me” with the boys. Kelly explains, “Each time one of the boys gave the command ‘watch me’, Kandie would look them in the eyes – and boy they would melt! It was sooo special!”
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