Therapy group - Tales of Joy R.E.A.D. program - Theresa McKinney
Theresa McKinney & the "Outlaws" Jesse James, James Younger and Doc Holliday!
I was born & raised in Cheshire, Connecticut and moved to New Mexico in 1982. Animals have always been a passion of mine; growing up with German Shepherds, Siamese cats and almost anything else that crawled or slithered! Once in NM I added two Golden retrievers to my "wild-west" family; Butch Cassidy & Sundance Kid. My sons, Michael and Jason grew up with Butch & Sundance - the four boys were inseparable and everything that boys & dogs should be. I began work in the Rio Rancho Public Schools in 1995, holding various positions; most currently the "Coordinator of Tales of Joy R.E.A.D.® Program". In January of 2006 I was given the approval of our Superintendent to start a program utilizing registered therapy dogs & handlers as Reading mentors for teacher selected students. A dream come true . . . the opportunity to work with my dog(s) for the benefit of our students! The program has grown each year and the data shows just how amazing our Tales of Joy R.E.A.D.® program handlers & dogs are! After a year of "shadow" training under Donna Crary-Johnson, in May of 2011 another dream come true . . . I began training Fun with Puppy classes, Family Dog classes, CGC classes (I am an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator) and most recently Fun Nose Work classes at Enchantment Pet Resort & Spa! I am also a Level One graduate of La Paw Spa's "Heart of Canine Aquatic Therapy".
Some times life gives us wonderful opportunities to grow and expand beyond our wildest dreams. I attribute my two Labradors, Jesse James & James Younger with doing just that for me! From the time they became a part of my family in July 2004 I have met wonderful new friends, started a Therapy dog program in our schools for the benefit of students, participated in Rally Obedience competitions and have learned humility, kindness and patience - all because of my dogs! When I wasn't looking, Doc Holliday, my Golden retriever, wiggled his way into my life and has brought his own opportunities and gifts!
I continue to grow and learn with each day, each class I teach and each interaction with family, friends, children and dogs! I have truly been blessed and for this I am thankful!
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