Meet Our Pet Practitioner Gordon and Future Equine Practitioners Lewis and Rocky
Therapy Dog Gordon is currently "on staff," joining Kim in selected counseling sessions. Gordon and Kim attended the Animal-Assisted Counseling Academy in 2017, passed their Pet Partners Team Evaluation in 2017, and also passed their Animal-Assisted Counseling Certification Evaluation in 2018. Kim plans to add Lewis and Rocky in the spring of 2020.
Australian Cattle Dog mix
Born in October 2012, Gordon had a rough start in life. Someone wrapped something tight around his snout and he fractured his front legs. The scars behind his nose are all that remains from those injuries, however. Gordon has lived with Kim's family since January 24, 2013, which we celebrate as his Gotcha Day.
Cattle dogs love to work. and Gordon seems to take his work seriously - even when playing. His strengths are joining in with children during play therapy and helping adolescents and adults gain confidence to confront their own painful pasts.
Rocky stands about 38 inches at his withers. He was bought at an auction by his previous owner. When he did not work out for her, Kim bought him. When he first arrived, Rocky was fearful of people and a bully to all of the larger horses in the pasture. Through much hard work and patience, Rocky learned to trust again. He and Lewis are barn buddies and enjoy each others' company.
Rocky has worked as a volunteer therapy horse with Kim since 2009 and they passed their Pet Partners evaluation together in 2013. He seems to enjoy interacting with all ages, but has especially shines when working with special needs individuals.
At only 34 inches in height, Lewis is a little donkey with a huge heart. He came to live with Kim's family in 2007 when he was about 7 years old. He and Kim have volunteered together since 2008 with several local therapy-equine groups. Lewis and Kim passed their Pet Partners evaluations in 2015 and 2017. He continue to periodically volunteer in the Round Rock and Williamson county communities as an ambassador of Heart and Soul Counseling, helping at festivals, church celebrations, and other special local events.
True to his donkey-nature, Lewis is intelligent and curious. He seems to enjoy learning tricks and playing. Currently he knows how to smile, shake hands, roll a ball, shake a pom-pom, and can even paint. Lewis is also generally calm and gentle, which helps him to connect well with those who are feeling anxious or sad.
See Lewis in action on Spectrum News