Meet Targa, Children’s Hospital’s therapy dog


FORECAST. MARKIE: YOU’VE SEEN THIS DOG
BEFORE. THIS IS TARGA. SHE’S A THERAPY DOG WHO IS AT
THE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL HERE IN
OKC. AND THIS MORNING WE’RE JOINED BY
TARGA AND HER HANDLER SKYLER
MUNDAY. SO GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN. HOW ARE YOU, TARGA? FOR PEOPLE THAT HAVE NOT MET HER
BEFORE, WE HAVE HAD YOU GUYS IN
STUDIO. TELL US ABOUT YOURSELVES. WE HAVE HAD OR JUST OVER A YEAR
NOW. SHE IS THE FIRST FULL-TIME
FACILITY DOG IN OKLAHOMA. SHE CAME TO US FROM GEORGIA. THEY TRAIN DOGS TO WORK
FULL-TIME IN HOSPITALS AND
SERVICE DOGS FOR INDIVIDUALS. MARKIE: WHEN YOU ARE TRAINING TO
GO INTO OU CHILDREN’S, FOR
EXAMPLE, WHAT ARE THEY LEARNING,
HOW DO THEY BECOME A SERVICE
DOG? THEY ARE LEARNING HOW TO
RESPOND TO THE ENVIRONMENT, TO
MY PHYSICAL CUES, SIGNALS ON HOW
TO ACT. SHE IS ALSO REALLY AWARE OF WHAT
PEOPLE ARE FEELING. SHE IS GREAT AT KNOWING WHO IS
FEELING MORE ANXIOUS, WHO IS
MORE NERVOUS. SHE KNOWS WHO TO GO TO AND SPEND
TIME WITH. MARKIE: SHE MUST BE PICKING UP
ON THE FACT THAT I NEED A NAP
RIGHT NOW. SHE IS TAKING A REST ON THE
FLOOR. WE WORK WITH YOU FOR THE
CHRISTMAS EVENT, WE LOVE THE
STAFF. WHAT DO YOU HEAR FROM THE
CHILDREN WHO INTERACT WITH TARGA
?
>>SO MANY OF THE KIDS THAT GET
TO SEE HER FOR A VARIETY OF
REASONS TELL ME IT SUCH A DIFFERENCE. ESPECIALLY THE KIDS THAT COME
AND GO FREQUENTLY, IT CAN HELP
THE HOSPITAL FEEL MORE LIKE
HOME, LESS SCARY TO GO BACK TO. SOME OF THE OTHER KIDS THAT
MAYBE DON’T WANT TO GO WALKING,
WILL SEE HER, AND WILL WORK WITH
A PHYSICAL THERAPIST TO TAKE
TARGA ON AN ADVENTURE, AND THEN
THEY ARE READY FOR A WALK. MARKIE: LIKE YOU WERE SAYING,
THE DOGS ARE SO INTUITIVE. THE KIDS ARE NOT FEELING WELL,
GOING IN AND OUT OF SURGERIES. SHE CAN PICK UP THEY ARE NOT
FEELING WELL AT THAT TIME?>>OFTENTIMES SHE LAYS IN BED
WITH THE PATIENT, SO SHE KNOWS
SHE NEEDS TO BE STILL. I MOVE HER WHERE SHE NEEDS TO
GO. SHE LAYS DOWN AND DOESN’T REALLY
MOVE UNTIL I SIGNAL TO HER THAT
IT IS OK. MARKIE: WHAT SNACKS DOES TARGA
CARE FOR?>>JUST A LITTLE BIT OF JERKY,
NOTHING SPECIAL. MARKIE: THE PUP CUP IS COMING UP
SOON. PAST TIME FOR PURPOSE CHOSE
US TO BE THE IMPACT PARTNERS. WE ARE GETTING THE PROCEEDS OF
THIS EVENT. NEXT SUNDAY, PEOPLE CAN SIGN-UP
TO DO THE 5K WITH THEIR DOG OR
WITHOUT. THERE WILL BE LOTS OF FAMILY FUN
ACTIVITIES, FOOD TRUCKS, MUSIC. IT WILL BE A GOOD TIME TO HELP
OUR FACILITY TALK PROGRAM. MARKIE: THE PARTNER IS FIELD FOR
FUTURES. WHAT IS THEIR MISSION?>>THEY HELP CREATE
–MARKIE: THAT IS A GOOD
STRETCH, TARGA. THEY HELP BASEBALL FIELDS IN
LOW INCOME AREAS. EDMOND NORTH INITIALLY FUND
RAISE TO START OUR PROGRAM AND
THE YEAR PRIOR THEY FUNDRAISER
FOR FUELS FOR FUTURES. WE HAVE HAD A LOT OF
ORGANIZATIONS HELP FUND RAISE
FOR US. MARKIE: TELL US ABOUT THE
DETAILS. CAN ANYBODY SHOW UP TO TAKE PART
IN THIS? NEXT SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14,
STARTING AT 9:00, ENDING AT
NOON. OUR WEBSITE IS
[email protected]’S.ORG. $35 TO RUN FOR YOURSELF, $45 TO
RUN WITH YOUR PET. MARKIE: TARGA WILL BE THERE. ARE THERE OTHER DOGS LIKE TARGA
AT THE HOSPITAL, OR IS SHE THE
SOLE THERAPY DOG?>>WE HAVE A GREAT PROGRAM THAT
HAS OVER 15 VOLUNTEER PET
THERAPY DOGS BUT SHE IS THE ONLY
FULL-TIME THERAPY DOG. IN NOVEMBER WE WILL HAVE TWO
MORE JOIN THE TEAM. IT WILL MAKE SUCH A DIFFERENCE. RIGHT NOW, TARG CANNOT GET TO
EVERYWHERE WE NEED TO BE BECAUSE
THE DEMAND IS SO HIGH. IT WILL BE GREAT TO GET TO SOME
OF THOSE AREAS THAT WE DON’T
HAVE TIME FOR RIGHT NOW. MARKIE: HOW MANY KIDS AT ONE
TIME COULD BE IN OU CHILDREN’S?>>WE COULD HAVE OVER 100. OUR NICU HAS OVER 90 BEDS AS
WELL AS A. WE ARE THERE TO SUPPORT OUR
FAMILY AND CHILDREN’S THAT ARE
THERE. EVEN IF THE PATIENT IS A BABY,
WE WILL SPEND TIME WITH THE
FAMILY. MARKIE: YOU CAN PICK UP ON HOW
SHE IS CALMING. THERE IS THAT SENSE OF SHE KNOWS
YOU ARE HER HANDLER AND SHE IS
TAKING CARE OF YOU. HOW DID YOU COME TO BE TARGA’S
HANDLER? I HAD WORKED AT THE
CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL FOR A COUPLE
YEARS UNDER A DIFFERENT ROLE,
GOT THE PRIVILEGE TO HELP FUND
RAISE AND WORK WITH EDMUND NORTH
AS THEY WERE FUNDRAISING FOR US. IT JUST WORKED OUT THAT WAY. IT HAS BEEN A BLESSING. MARKIE: IF SOMEBODY IS WATCHING
AT HOME AND THEY SAY I HAVE AN
ANIMAL THAT WOULD BE PERFECT FOR
THIS, OR I WANT TO DO WHAT
SKYLER IS DOING, WHAT IS THE
FIRST STEP?>>THE BEST BET WOULD BE TO JOIN
OUR VOLUNTEER PET THEIR PEOPLE
PROGRAM. IF THEY HAVE A DUNK THAT THEY
FEEL IS WELL MANNERED, THEY CAN
GO THROUGH THE APPROPRIATE
TRAININGS. OBEDIENCE TRAINING, DIFFERENT
VACATIONS THEY CAN GET, AND THEN
THEY GO THROUGH THE VOLUNTEER
DEPARTMENT. IT’S NOT EXACTLY WHAT TARGA AND
I DO, BUT GREAT EXPERIENCE. MARKIE: THANK YOU FOR COMING IN,
SKYLER.

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