Timber and Rissa are Labrador Retrievers. Based on registered ownership, the “Lab” or "Labby" is the most popular breed in the world. They are also the most popular breed for assistance work in many countries, including the United States, and are widely used for police work. Certainly a handful if untrained, Labs are typically very food- and fun-oriented. They also respond well to praise and positive attention, which makes them very trainable.
Both Timber and Rissa are fine examples of their breed, having excelled in the breed ring, obedience competition, and hunting trials. Both also had 3 litters of handsome puppies before retiring from their professional careers and being adopted by Pam.
Timber is a Black Labrador. Here she shares
time with one of her favorite readers.
In her second career of pet therapy, registered with Therapy Dogs Inc., (now Alliance of Therapy Dogs) and as a R.E.A.D.® team member, Timber is Pam's one-to-one reader dog. She went to Tremont Consolidated School every week from 2007 to 2012 and was very mellow with the youngsters, often lying there with her paws crossed, "listening."
Timber wore a red scarf as part of
the Idita Read-a-Route Red Team.
Now semi-retired, Timber still makes special appearances and occasional reading dates with the kids. One semester, the school created an Idita Read-a-Route program. The students competed individually but also in teams. There were 4 teams, each one had 2 dogs as mascots and Timber was on the Red Team. The readers earned one mile for each minute read.
Rissa is a Chocolate Labrador.
Green is the buzz word for St. Patrick's Day
and for the Green Team.
Green is good, and so is Rissa.
Like Timber, Rissa is registered with TDInc and is a R.E.A.D. team member. Also now semi-retired, she had been a group reading dog at the Tremont school. She not only tolerated but was happiest when surrounded by youngsters. Seeing her interact with the kids makes one think she was raised with children, but she wasn't. Unlike Timber, if the kids want kisses, Rissa is eager to oblige.
At 14, Rissa still has a big smile
Rissa continues to make special appearances and pet therapy visits. She participated in the Idita Read-a-Route 2012 and plans on being with Santa to hand out books and encourage reading in December.
In addition to the school and library visits, they provide pet therapy at a local hospital and a retirement village two or three times a month. At the retirement village, they go to the assisted living floor and the Alzheimer's unit, as well as frequently visiting the exercise group that's in session at the same time as their visits.
Pam, along with Timber and Rissa, received the Therapy Dogs Incorporated 2009 Volunteer of the Year award. Click here to have a look at the photo and article.This article was printed in the Spring/Summer 2010 issue (Volume 5, Issue 1) of Therapy Dogs Incorporated Newsmagazine.