Notice that her tiny little tag says, "I am a Therapy Dog."
She passed the initial Therapy Dog test easily ... getting along with other dogs, allowing strangers to pet and hold her, walking nicely on a leash and taking commands. She and I had then had to pass three observations in real-life situations on the weekends after the test: one was at Petco, one was at a rehabilitation hospital, and one was at an Autism Awareness Day fair. Winnie wagged her tail and begged for pets, even giving kisses to some of the strangers that she met.
I was so excited when her registration and tag came in the mail the other day. All she needed was a vest to complete her working ensemble. The regular therapy dog vests are all WAY too big for her (even in the Extra Small size). It took me a little while of trial and error to modify an existing tiny dog harness pattern, and I think it turned out really cute. Pink camo fits Winnie's personality, and it should attract attention and can help start conversations.
Now that Winnie is official, she and I can begin our visits ... which will mostly be reading days with children at the local library, along with special events (like the Autism Fair we attended two weeks ago). Today, she and I will be working the afternoon shift at the Greyhounds Rock booth at Fredericksburg Brewfest. She won't be there as a therapy dog, but she will still work her adorable Chihuahua magic to help me separate the fair-goers from some of their money, with merchandise sales and donations ... all in the name of a good cause.
I adore this little dog!