Facility Service Dogs
Facility Dog Program
In addition to dogs that are trained to assist an individual, TLCAD also trains
dogs to serve the needs of many in their Facility Dog Program. These highly specialized
dogs touch the lives of children in special needs schools and developmental therapy
centers as well as veterans in outpatient clinics at military hospitals both on
and off base.
Their work is varied and they must be trained for competence in many situations.
They may be required to assist veterans with mobility exercises in a physical therapy
room. Or decrease anxiety levels in which service members that have recently returned
home experience when participating in a group therapy session.
In a day's work at a Speech and Language Therapy facility for autistic children,
the dog might demonstrate how "sitting quietly" looks. Or what the words "next to"
or "behind" look like. In the Occupational Therapy gym, the dog might be the reason
a child is willing to crawl through a play tunnel for the first time. Because the
dog led the way.
These dogs have but one owner. They are a team of two, who pool their skills and
their hearts in the service of others.
One of our Facility Dogs is "Magic" and he works at TERI, Inc., the Training, Education
& Research Institute for children and adults with developmental and learning
disabilities. Together with Magic, TERI focuses on how to change the lives of many
individuals on the autism spectrum and serving children and adults for a lifespan.
Magic, a Labradoodle, works with a teaching specialist at the TERI Learning Academy
in Oceanside, California. This dog affects the lives of up to 70 students and their
families, as well as the 75 member teaching staff. This school is dedicated to serving
students in the San Diego, California area with autism and other developmental disabilities
for ages 8 to 22 years.