A Therapy Dog

A Therapy Dog:
Clancy’s Story
Debbie Frank
Hi! My name is Clancy.
I am a Labrador Retriever. Labs come in
three colors: yellow, chocolate, and black.
I am a yellow Lab.
This is my mom.
Her name is Mrs.
Frank. She has been
an Aliquippa
teacher for 25 years!
She likes to get
her picture taken
with fictional
she does.
No really, she
Mrs. Frank brought me home when I was 8 weeks old. She
named me Clancy after her favorite author, Tom Clancy. She
wanted to give me a strong name. My name means ‘red
warrior’ in Welsh.
As a puppy, I had a laid back attitude. That means I
liked to cuddle and spend time with my mom.
I was a very shy puppy. I was afraid of loud noises
and new people. They would make me hide.
Mrs. Frank helped me get over my shyness. She
loved me, gave me soft cuddly toys, and took me
everywhere she went. I learned to be brave and not
My stuffed toys are my
favorite. Santa brought
a Christmoose for my
1st Christmas. He was
so soft and fuzzy. I
loved him so much!
Mom helped me meet new
friends. Here is Max. He is
a beagle. He likes to hunt
rabbits and howl at the
moon. “Ooooooo”
Max is not shy!
My friends, Elsie and Cricket, are black Labs. They like
to dress up in fancy outfits. They also like to pull stuffed
animals to shreds. Can you guess what they did to my
Christmoose? Elsie and Cricket are not shy.
Mom took me to parades so I was not afraid of loud
noises and lots of people. I meet new friends, she cheers
as the Quip band passes by.
I love to fetch or
retrieve. After all, I am a
Labrador Retriever. It
doesn’t matter what
Mom throws, I love to
bring it back! But I
really love fetching
tennis balls.
Labs are friendly and smart dogs. Labs like to
swim! I can swim to retrieve a ball or stick.
I love to swim so much, my mom set up a pool just
for me!
I live in the country on a farm where I can run, run,
After my 1st birthday, Mrs. Frank and I went to Therapy
Dog School. A therapy dog helps people feel better in
places like hospitals, nursing homes, and schools.
Therapy dogs must listen to commands and not be
afraid of loud noises or crowds. We practiced listening
during class. We had to “sit”, “stay”, “leave it”, and
“stand up” on command.
One time, another dog and I were playing instead of
listening. Mrs. Frank wasn’t very happy about that.
Afterwards, I did my
best to listen and pay
attention to the
teacher. Mrs. Frank
said, “Clancy, you’re
a good boy!” That
made me wag my tail.
We learned to be comfortable around hospital
equipment like crutches, canes, and high beds. I
learned how to ride in an elevator without being
afraid. Sometimes the teacher made loud noises or
dropped things on the floor to scare us; but I was
brave and did not hide. Part of the class taught me
to stay with another
grownup while Mrs.
Frank left the room.
I waited quietly
until she returned
for me.
I learned how to get close to wheelchairs so the
people could pet me.
Most of all, I learned
to trust Mrs. Frank
and enjoy being
around many people.
On the last day of
school, I had to take a
test to become a
Therapy Dog. I was
really nervous.
But I passed!
I get to wear a
special tag on my
collar to let
everyone know I am
a Therapy Dog.
A nursing home is where people who are elderly or
ill can live safely. Sometimes being away from home
makes them sad. A therapy dog works to make them
feel better.
Therapy dogs help
people open up and
tell stories about the
dogs in their lives.
They seem to relax
while petting me. It
puts smiles on their
Every Saturday, Mrs.
Frank and I visit a
nursing home to see Mr.
Jones. I give him kisses
and lean against his legs.
He pets my ears and rubs
my back.
He says, “Clancy, you
make my day! Yes, you
Therapy dogs go into schools to help children
read. Sometimes I help Mrs. Frank read to the
children. Other times, the children read to me.
I love listening to stories. I am a really good listener!
When I listen, it helps young children enjoy reading.
Sometimes children
are scared of dogs. I
help them learn that
therapy dogs are
Sometimes the children dress for reading.
Sometimes the grownups dress up.
Seriously, they do!
And sometimes,
so do I!
Aren’t we silly?
In the summer, I go to the B.F. Jones Library to
read with children.
I listen and enjoy being petted during the story.
Everyone says “Good boy Clancy! You are the
BEST!” I wag my tail to show I am happy to help.
Sometimes the story is
so relaxing, I close my
eyes to listen.
A therapy dog gets to
visit places other dogs
can not go. I went to
Mrs. Frank’s favorite
hangout – The Mall in
Can you see me at the
Animal Shelter table?
That day, I helped people learn what Therapy Dogs can
do. Lots of people came by to pet me and learn how
Therapy Dogs help others.
I am not the bravest dog, but I try to do my best at
all times.
I am not the fastest dog, but I try hard all the time.
My name is Clancy.
I am a good friend to all.
I am patient and kind.
I am silly!
I am a good listener.
I am a Steeler fan.
Let me repeat that.
I am a Steeler fan.
With Mrs. Frank at my side,
I am an awesome
Therapy Dog!

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