Paisley, a Therapy Scottie

Aug 30, 2014 | 2014 Articles, Lee Juslin, Pets

by Lee Juslin

Though it’s rare for Scotties to become therapy dogs, Paisley, a silver brindle Scottie, does her breed proud. At three and a half, Paisley has earned her CGC (Canine Good Citizens award) and has passed the required test to become a member of Therapy Dogs United, a regional organization for therapy dogs covering northwestern Pennsylvania and western New York. “The training was a bit tough,” said Nancy, her owner and handler. It involves getting used to wheelchairs and walkers as well as interacting calmly with strange people. She had to take the test twice to pass.”



Nancy and Paisley make regular visits with other therapy pet teams to a couple of libraries for reading improvement programs where youngsters read to the dogs. They also visit Erie Independent House, a facility for special needs adults where the residents range in age from nineteen to fifty-five. Many of the residents have debilitating medical conditions like Cerebral Palsy and Spina Bifida. The facility serves as a half way house leading to independent living for those who are able to transition. Paisley seems to have a preference for adults and especially enjoys visiting this facility.

At Independent House Paisley met John who has become her best friend, but it wasn’t always that way. At first, he was afraid of Paisley and wouldn’t go near her. Then, one day he smiled at her and seemed to want to meet her. John has medical challenges that make it difficult to reach out to Paisley, so Nancy has taught her that when he taps the back of his hand, she nuzzles him for a treat. Jack is the only one of “her patients” that she does this with. After the treat, she spends time sitting in his lap with Jack all smiles. Now he calls Paisley: My

“I wasn’t sure if Paisley really enjoyed her therapy visits as much as I hoped she would until one day we came to Erie Independent House after a three week absence. Jack was thrilled to see his pal, but Paisley was beside herself with joy on seeing him. That told me how much she loved her visits, and what a great therapy dog she has become.”

paisleyPaisley also enjoys a good parade especially one that involves bagpipers. Recently, she and some of her friends from the Independent House, including her BFF, Jack, participated in a Homecoming Parade. Nancy put three leashes on Paisley so she, Jack, and another resident could all walk Paisley together in the parade. With Scottish bagpipes, her best friend, and a cheering crowd, what more could a Scottie girl ask for.

If you would like to learn more about Therapy Dogs United, visit their website: Therapy Dogs United. If you would like to see other therapy pet organizations, both national and regional, simply Google therapy pets.

You can find more animal rescue, therapy animal, and other pet related articles in our pet section.

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Lee Juslin is a free lance copywriter living in North Carolina with her husband, Scott, and her band of misfits: Tarquin, a Wheaten Scottish Terrier, and three handicapped cats. They can be seen on their website: Hampshire Hooligans. She owns I B Dog Gone, a small embroidery business and is the author of the Nurse Frosty books for children and Frosty’s Story: Tales of a Therapy Dog. She supports a number of national and regional terrier rescue organizations.


  1. what a delightful name for an obviously delightful dog! TDs are such an important part of the lives they touch – and Nancy has learned that those lives touch the dogs as well – it hard to know what ‘triggers’ the human/animal bond – but John has the ‘right’ stuff for sure — and it wasn’t just the treat!

  2. I love to read the Scottie breed as therapy dogs ! As everything else in the world there is good and bad ! Congrats on having one the the best ! And thank you for what you do ! Marsha and Wilson

  3. What a wonderful article about a wonderful little Therapy girl 🙂 Congratulations on your hard training and passing the CGC test! I’m working towards the very same goal with my Boxer-mix girl Missy ~ we’ve mastered the falling crutches so far 🙂


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