My name is Wyatt and this is my story. I am a Golden Retriever, but don’t let that fool you, I do not like to retrieve and I do not like the water. I am told that I more than make up for that with my personality, ooops, dog-ality! I love people, especially children, I notice if they are sad or just need a little extra love. I just seem to know when they need some extra snuggles. I guess you could say it’s in my nature. People seem to love when I lay my head in their lap and let them pet me and play with my ears. I also like to lay at their feet and let them rub my belly. It is a win, win situation, they become calm, and I get my belly rubbed.
The first family I came to live with had a lot of children there and I loved to play with them and have them read stories to me. Some of them were a little shy at times so I would hang out with them and let them know they have a friend and they’re pretty special. I liked to play dress up with them, have tea parties, and play school with them. My one little friend Emma had a hard time reading out loud and I laid down with her and let her read stories to me. It helped her to relax and now she has become a strong reader.
Karen Schatz, is the really nice lady that helped me to learn a lot of the commands starting when I was just 8 weeks old. She noticed that I had something special that just set me apart. I really liked to lay down with her at night and watch television, but I didn’t like seeing people being chased/hurt or children upset in the shows. When I would see that I would start to growl a little at the television.
Now I am working for Philly Family Life Counseling Center with Dr. Gene Devers and his staff. Dr. Gene writes this on our website:
Wyatt brings a reassuring calming presence, a tactile experience, laughter, and emotional connectedness in the counseling/coaching relationship and often functions as a co-clinician with Dr. Devers. He burrows his nose between your knees/thighs, when feeling secure with you, signaling that he wants to be petted. This is a trained behavior to say hello and work with folks in wheelchairs and is not “naughty” or “fresh”. He loves attention and having his belly rubbed, as much as just quietly hanging out. When not retrieving his favorite ball, his main hobby is sleeping. Wyatt’s training, presence, and goal is to encourage, reassure and function as a responsive emotional pillow.
I am proud to say that I am the first of my kind through UDS to be placed in this kind of a capacity, in a counseling environment. I am happy the trainers were able to see my talents and gifts and place me where I get to use them a lot.