Troupe Member of the Month - Shay Jacobson, Tazer, Kaner and Chia
Shay has been a dedicated member of the Pawsitive Therapy Troupe since 2018, but her experience in therapy work stretches over more than 20 years with eight different therapy dogs. Her current canine partners are “Tazer”, a 10-year-old black Lab, “Kaner,” a 7-year-old yellow Lab, and “Chia”, a 4-year-old chocolate Lab—one of each color! Shay and Tazer have also been a Hope Animal Assisted Crisis Response team since August of 2019, and all three dogs are all registered as Pet Partner AACR teams. Shay and her dogs love working with children in the “Read With Me” programs at Hillcrest and Pierce Downers Elementary schools in Downers Grove and Arbor View Elementary school in Glen Ellyn.
Tazer made his acting debut in the PAWSitive Therapy Troupe’s 2018 “Canine Nutcracker “as a Dewdrop in the iconic Waltz of the Flowers. Chia made her appearance in a duet as one of the two Chinese Tea dancers. They were born to be stars!
Here is what Shay has to say about her dogs and their PAWSItive Therapy Troupe experiences:
Tazer went with me to work 3 times a week to visit my clients in nursing homes, group homes and in their own homes. Tazer is very steady and versatile. She has gone to many settings in her 9-year career. Kaner also went with me to work and visited my clients. She loves the high school setting and the more kids she can see the more fun she has. Kaner has many tricks and loves to entertain everyone with her antics. Chia is my youngster. She has visited schools and particularly loves special needs children in high school settings. The children nicknamed her “Chia Pet”, and the name has stuck!
Our favorite locations are the programs that help children read. It is wonderful to see the progression as the children gain skills. The dogs bring a soothing, non-judgmental touch that helps build their confidence and makes reading fun. We love going to interactive programs where the children try to teach the dogs simple obedience behaviors and tricks. Chia earned her trick title using all the tricks the kids invented and taught her.
I am fortunate to have three wonderful, healthy dogs. They are all so different and it is a joy to see them together and individually to show their superstar qualities. COVID-19 has kept us all home this past year. In our dogs view this is the best time of their lives with walks, movie time, and nonstop petting. They do love getting out in the world and going back to work but they have been happy to be our homebound partners.
On behalf of all of us in the PAWSitive Therapy Troupe, thank YOU Shay, Tazer, Kaner and Chia for your years of devoted service!