A ‘Magickal’ Journey

Hello Sproutians!!  We would like to introduce you to our newest Junior Recruit- Magick!

Magick is a Therapuppy who will be complementing the Sprout team from Term 4 2016.

I would like to share with you my personal journey to finding Magick (with some lessons I’ve learnt along the way), and our very first steps towards becoming a Human-Canine Therapy Team.

When I first wrote this Blog, I had written that “Magick was specially chosen to be my Therapuppy” – but truthfully, a more accurate reflection would be that- “I was chosen to be Magick’s guardian”. This is why…

Magick is a beautiful Chocolate Labrador Puppy nurtured by the amazing Sohalispirit Family, who raises ALL their dogs from the heart. Magick is a sweet, gentle, and soulful puppy – who loves to snuggle and ADMIRE you with his beautiful baby blue eyes!

He also enjoys sleeping and LOVES playing with water!! In fact, when I went to visit him on the weekend, he had gotten hold of a hose and drank so much water his belly swelled like a balloon. Then he spent the next hour weeing every 10 minutes!

My journey to get to this point started in July last year- it was during my supervision session with Monica, just shortly after I had lost my beautiful dog of 15-years. We were sitting together in the moment of how it felt to have a piece of you missing. And I remember telling Monica, “My next dog will be a Therapy Dog, a Chocolate Labrador, and his name will be Magick…because magic happens between kids and dogs”. Monica smiled and the rest was history!

Following that day (and a good 5-months after) I researched everything I could to find what the process was to find and train a Therapy Dog. I couldn’t find much at the time or the process seemed vague. I was close to giving up for a while when I stumbled on an ad for an Animal Assisted Therapy course up in Brisbane –  sadly, it was full and applications had closed (my heart sank a bit)…but I tried anyway. It was clearly meant to be, because someone had just dropped out and I GOT IN!!

I learnt, met, and experienced A LOT in this course- which brings me to:

Lesson #1– If you are choosing to be a Human-Canine Team of any sort- the first thing you need to consider is training yourself first!

Understanding Canine Communication is ESSENTIAL if you want to work safely and effectively with your Canine Partner.

The Sprout team will do our best to model and coach safe interactions with Magick, to ensure a pleasurable and positive experience for our Sprout families.

After returning from Brisbane, I pretty much burst through the clinic doors announcing that “I HAVE to work with a Therapy Dog or Horse!! I LOVE IT SOO MUCH!” – Put simply, I just couldn’t BE without working with an animal counterpart.

Monica wasn’t too sure about squeezing a horse in the clinic, or turning the shed into a stable- but was certainly supportive of having a Therapy Dog!

Lesson #2- Make sure you have people who will support you 110%. This is a difficult venture to take up on your own- I am so grateful to have support from an amazing team!

It’s not always possible for families or professionals to experience the joys that canines can bring, particularly if you are renting a property (believe me on this one- I know!!). Having to move twice, and almost a third time- is not great on the ageing process. But, with the help of the Sprout team, we are soon able to share the joys of Magick with you, and that’s worth it!

Finding the right puppy was another feat, particularly if you are new to the process (like me!!). There are A LOT of breeders out there with just as many breeds…there are also a lot of dogs in shelters. It was a tough decision, but I just wasn’t in the position to rehabilitate a shelter dog. So I went looking for a purebred puppy- I bounced around different breeds before settling on my original feeling of a Chocolate Labrador.

Lesson #3Know what you want and trust your instincts. This is easier said than done, there are a lot of choices and distractions out there that can be overwhelming.

It was a good 3 months of searching and chatting with breeders over several states, before I found the Sohalispirit family. I was immediately drawn in by the loving temperament of all their dogs, and the passion everyone had for nurturing these beautiful souls.

Magick’s parents are as golden as their personalities, and I am so grateful to have been chosen to care for one of their puppies.

It felt like a long wait, to find Magick- my missing piece. Words cannot explain what it felt like to FINALLY hold and meet this sweet little puppy I had been looking for. The puppy, that was just a thought 1-year ago.

Magick and I have a long way to go on our journey- our first steps together will be the journey home and PUPPY PRE-SCHOOL!!

Stay tuned over the coming months to see how we’re progressing.