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Thursday, August 25, 2011

THERAPY DOG PREP CLASS STARTS THIS SATURDAY, AUGUST 27TH

As we were thrilled to report at the beginning of August, 4 animal/handler teams, that went through the at Stay N Play Pet Ranch, passed their Delta Society Pet Partners therapy dog certification test! As Delta Society certified, these teams will be changing lives for the better visiting hospitals, nursing homes, hospice and physical therapy centers, schools, libraries and many other facilities.

If you think you and your dog would be make a great therapy dog team, we have Therapy Dog Prep Class starting this Saturday, August 27, at 11:30am. The certification prep class meets every Saturday for 6 weeks and includes the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test and certification along with the prep for the Delta Society test. Please call for details! (512) 894-7387.

Debbie and Gypsy, foreground. Kevin and Callie, background.
Trained at Stay N Play and therapy dog certified!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

AAAAHHH! SPA FOR THE ROUGH, DRY PAW!

Today we broke the old record for most triple digit days, and we’ve all felt the repercussions of this relentless heat. Even with early morning or late evening walks, hot pavement and rough, dry lawns have taken their toll on the precious paws of our four-legged friends.

At Stay N Play Pet Ranch, we use SPA Bubble Bath Paw Treatment to treat and rejuvenate rough and dry pads and feet. The combination of vanilla and milk thistle calms, and the vitamin enriched bath oils soothe. We use the bubble bath for pawdicures in our grooming salon, and we also sell the bubble bath in an 8oz size for just $10.98.

To schedule a rejuvenating pawdicure for your pup, call us at (512) 894-7387 or, to purchase your own SPA Bubble Bath Paw Treatment, stop by Stay N Play Pet Ranch.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

MY DOG ATE MY HOMEWORK? MY DOG AIDS MY HOMEWORK!

by Lynn Fruchey, DVM

School has started and your children’s stress levels are going up. Homework, presentations, tests, grades and peer pressure all sometimes combine to sabotage a learning environment. Did you know that your dog can help alleviate these problems? Many children see their pets as friends and confidants. Pets provide non-judgmental emotional support and can play a vital role in the development of a child’s learning and social skills.

There are library programs all over the country where groups of children are encouraged to read to dogs. The kids tend to relax and explain the stories to their furry audience. It has been found that these children’s verbal skills and reading comprehension are higher compared to control groups where the kids read out loud in a classroom of their peers. Why not start one at your school? The same technique can be applied at home for practicing presentations, reading assignments and having your children explain concepts that they have learned. Show and Tell is another outlet to celebrate the human/animal bond kids share with their pets.

Before your load up the family dog and take him to school, make sure that you’ve polished his obedience and social skills. At the minimum, your dog should be able to walk nicely on a loose leash, greet strangers politely, sit, stay and settle quietly for an extended period of time. There are several ways to accomplish these goals.

Obedience classes introduce basic commands to you and your dog in a group setting. This is the commonly seen “classroom model” of learning and perfecting skills with many distractions present. For the more advanced dogs, there are AKC Canine Good Citizen classes that focus on your dog’s social skills. Classes are the perfect starting point for a young dog or a trained dog who needs a little polishing.

Private lessons with a trainer affords one on one attention and focus on you and your dog. Results are seen fairly quickly with emphasis placed on learning 1 or 2 specific skills. This “tutor model” is an excellent choice for dogs who know the basics, but are easily distracted by other dogs. They are also good for you as a handler to fine tune your commands.

Training while boarding or day care with training is the “correspondence course model”. A trainer works intensively with your dog on 2 or 3 skills to jump start his training. You then take over at home practicing the commands the trainer has taught. This is a great alternative for a busy household or for a dog who needs to gain confidence around strangers and new places.

Children learn the easiest when they are relaxed and focused. Why not let their best furry friend help with this process?

Stay N Play Pet Ranch offers every level of training for dogs from Puppy Beginnings to Basic Obedience, Canine Good Citizen to Certified Therapy Dog Training. Contact us today at (512) 894-7387 for more information!


Tucker trained at Stay N Play and is now a certified therapy dog!
He will be working with kids helping their reading skills!

Monday, August 8, 2011

STAY N PLAY CLIENT PROFILE: GYPSY

Last week, we were thrilled to report that 4 animal/handler teams that went through the therapy dog training program at Stay N Play Pet Ranch passed their Delta Society Pet Partners therapy dog certification. One of the newly certified dogs is Gypsy, who proves that shelter dogs are not broken and how patience, love, and training can change the life of a dog – a dog who will now positively impact the lives of countless others as a certified therapy dog.

After a very rough start in life, Gypsy was rescued from an Orlando, Florida shelter by Vincent and Debbie, who call themselves “the lucky people who got to adopt her.” Gypsy had obviously undergone some terrible mistreatment and was very timid and afraid (particularly of men). She had very few "real world" skills -- did not know how to get in and out of a car, did not know about sliding glass doors (smacked right into her new home’s glass patio door about three times before she figured it out), was not good at playing, and had a hard time with stairs.

But with kindness and patience, Gypsy learned those skills and, through it all, Vincent says, “she has been a beautiful companion to Debbie and myself since the very beginning.” While still living in Florida, Gypsy earned her Canine Good Citizen award in early 2010. When the family moved to the Austin area, Gypsy began additional training at Stay and Play Pet Ranch and she entered the world of being a therapy dog. In July 2011, Gypsy became a certified Delta Society Pet Partners therapy dog. Not one to rest on her laurels, she has already been doing therapy dog work at a local nursing home. She visits residents once a week and garnered a real fan club. She loves to be around people of all kinds. Although many visiting pet groups say to not dress your dog up, Gypsy truly likes her costumes, and they have brought much joy to the patients at the nursing home.

Cheers to Gypsy, you make all of us very proud!

To learn more about therapy dog training at Stay N Play Pet Ranch, contact us today.

Gypsy is a certified therapy dog and an absolute angel to
the nursing home
residents she visits each week.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

WE KNOW DOGS! CHEERS TO THE STAY N PLAY STAFF FOR THEIR SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF THE "KNOWING DOGS" PROGRAM

Cheers to our Stay N Play Pet Ranch staff for their completion of Knowing Dogs 101 and Knowing Dogs 201 – a two-stage training program developed by pet care industry leaders Robin Bennett and Susan Briggs. The Stay N Play Pet Ranch staff, from pet care technicians to the front office administrators, participated in 16 classes of study that included at-home book study and classroom sessions to learn more about dogs, dog breed temperaments, and body language. The program is not yet available to the pet care industry, but the Stay N Play Pet staff was specially selected to participate in the program as part of the “beta test” before the program is rolled out.

We’ll be sharing more about this groundbreaking program in the future, but, for now, a big thank you to the Stay N Play team for your hard work and dedication to setting the highest standards for our clients!

You think you know me, Stay N Play? Okay, maybe you do!

Monday, August 1, 2011

THERAPY DOG CERTIFICATION FOR TEAMS TRAINED AT STAY N PLAY!

We are thrilled to report that 4 animal/handler teams, that went through the therapy dog training program at Stay N Play Pet Ranch, passed their Delta Society Pet Partners therapy dog certification test on Saturday. And another team that also passed used private sessions by our trainer Laura Harvey to prepare for the test. An exciting and rewarding day for Stay N Play and these remarkable teams!

As Delta Society certified, these teams can visit patients/clients in hospitals, nursing homes, hospice and physical therapy centers, schools, libraries and many other facilities. Today, there are over 10,000 handler/animal teams bring joy, comfort and compassion to those in need. These dedicated volunteers and their pets have been credited for helping people forget about their pain, providing distractions so nurses can perform medical procedures on pediatric patients, inspiring patients recovering from strokes to perform more physical therapy exercises than when they work with just their human therapists, and even bringing people out of comas!

If you are interested in learning more about therapy dog training at Stay N Play Pet Ranch, contact us today.

Melody and Tucker.
Trained at Stay N Play and therapy dog certified!


Debbie and Gypsy, foreground. Kevin and Callie, background.
Trained at Stay N Play and therapy dog certified!


Gail and Bear.
Trained at Stay N Play and therapy dog certified!


Jennifer and Abby received private sessions
by our trainer Laura Harvey to prep for the test.
Therapy dog certified!