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A Tribute to Murphy

Mary Jo Burton
murphy the therapy dog
murphy the therapy dog

Murphy, a Sheltie, came into my life as a scared, unsocialized, poorly trained dog. A few months later we moved to Sun City, TX. Almost everything he was exposed to frightened him immensely. Luckily, I learned about obedience classes for dogs. We went through beginner, intermediate, and advance training with Ruth and Tom Olsen as trainers. While in the class, I learned about Pet Partners therapy work and Reading Education Assistance Dog (READ). I decided to pursue this for Murphy and myself. I had to attend workshops for the registration and then pass an evaluation to become a therapy dog team.

Murphy overcame many of his inhibitions and became a wonderful therapy dog. As a team, we have been to many facilities – schools, public libraries, nursing homes, memory care centers, and represented the Pet Club at several events. Murphy gave ‘high fives’, shakes, and was rewarded with a treat after an encounter with all.

Murphy began to show medical issues and he crossed over the rainbow bridge in November 2023. His years of therapy work were remarkable, and we miss Murphy so much.