Members of the newly formed Tailwaggers Dog Club from Bear Valley Springs enjoy spreading the word about their furry friends and look forward to broadening their outreach in providing dog therapy to people at more locations in Tehachapi.
Members of the dog club spoke about the care they offer at the Rotary Club on Oct. 10.
“The whole idea of the Tailwaggers Club is that at any part of our life that we have left, we want to make a difference to as many people as possible,” said Molly Mackin, president of the club.
She added, "We go out in our community and we build lots of friendships and have a tremendous amount of relationship building."
The club began more than one year ago and officially joined as an affiliate to the Alliance of Therapy Dogs, an international registry of certified therapy dog teams. The 142 members of the Tailwaggers Dog Club join more than 15,000 total members in helping people.
The group has eight divisions, with the therapy group being one who specializes in going to different places to help people.
The different divisions include training, agility, dog park socialization, K9 fitness, therapy and rescue, meetings and speakers, and membership according to bvstailwaggers.com.
The therapy division will soon begin visiting the Whiting Center in Bear Valley Springs to allow children to come, select a book and read to the dogs or just socialize. They also plan to visit people at Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley hospital in November, said Nilly Smith, program director of the club.
The group currently visits hospitals in Lancaster, Palmdale and goes to nursing homes, libraries, schools and community events, Smith added.
“Dogs are truly a gift to us humans," said Laurie Friesen, co-chair of the Tailwaggers Dog Club.
She added, “Sharing brings happiness and the more adventures, the more love in the world. We would love to keep growing and like to partner with community organizations here.”
The club inspires the promotion of good fellowship and dog ownership, encourages dog-related activities, trains the animals, supports charities and rescues, and helps other people, according to the club's bylaws.
“The interesting thing about the dog club is that there are so many avenues,” Mackin said.
To request a visit from the therapy dogs, call Nilly Smith at 1-818-519-8383. The club meets at 7 p.m. the second Monday of every month at Bear Valley Springs Equestrian Center at 26940 Bear Valley Road.