<< First  < Prev   1   2   Next >  Last >> 
  • Sunday, July 17, 2022 1:51 PM | Josephine Deangelis (Administrator)

    Hello and Cheers to our members,

    We have come a long way and we owe it to all of you with your continued commitment to bring your teams into the community for comfort and joy.

    We can only be as strong as our members and your commitment is what keeps us going. We have welcomed many new members with more on the way and I look forward to getting to know you all better and work with you as you go on this joyful journey with your champion.

    Although many of us are volunteering in the summer, it is also a time to reflect on where you see  yourselves in the coming months. Barriers may once again be placed in our way. However more than ever we can see the importance of keeping connected. So I encourage you all to reach out to your community, think outside the box for your visits, acquire an MOU, and keep going. You see what isolation does to your champions, well subtly it affects us too and those around us. 

    Our member meeting is 17 Sept at 2pm at the Northampton Library, come speak with us and let's stay as one to ensure Angel on a Leash is strong and continue our commitment to our community.

    Thank you,

    Josephine, Lucy and Tessa

  • Wednesday, April 07, 2021 12:27 PM | Cindy Kaeble (Administrator)

    Cindy Kaeble, CPDT-KA

    To be a Champion Team is to share the comfort and companionship of your dog with others. There are no limits to where the company of these amazing animals makes a difference. Visiting with a dog has been shown to comfort those who are separated from or have lost a beloved pet. Therapy dogs have been called to areas that have experienced natural disasters and to places where human violence has rattled the community. There are accounts of non-verbal children communicating with a dog and seemingly comatose patients reaching for them. Therapy dogs go to schools, libraries, hospitals, retirement homes and much more.

    Champion Teams volunteer their time visiting others. Sharing the comfort of your dog with someone who needs them is the rewarding part. Conversations start easily as almost everyone has a story about a family pet to share or questions about your pup and their work. There will be magical moments where your heart bursts with pride watching your dog make a difference. It’s amazing to see your dog love their work and be genuinely happy to be going with you.

    There is science behind the human/canine bond. Dogs desire to be close to us. Research consistently proves the idea that dogs calm us, lower our blood pressure, provide us a focus other than ourselves, join us in creating a routine, exercise with us, they just make life feel better. They also show distinct characteristics of empathy. Case closed; dogs are therapeutic in every sense of the word.

    Therapy Dogs are taught by their handlers. These dedicated pet parents participate in training and work with their dogs to acclimate them to various environments, sounds, medical equipment, different people, etc. The basics like sit, down, greeting a friendly stranger, being calm around and walking past other dogs and leave-it are practiced in ever challenging environments. A successful therapy dog needs to be under control of their handler at all times and responsive to commands, especially the “leave-it” command.

    Any dog can be a therapy dog. From the smallest pint of a pup to the largest lap dog. Any age is the right age to start training! A great therapy dog will be one that seeks out human contact. If they are more naturally calm, bonus, but it’s not a deal breaker. Impulse control work and maturity along with dedicated training will help with that. Once your dog has reached one year of age, they are eligible to test and when they pass be registered as an AOAL Therapy Dog.

    One special note: therapy dogs are NOT considered service dogs and therefore do not have all-access rights under the ADA. Therapy dogs visit where they are invited only - belonging to an organization like AOAL is important as it provides partnerships for ongoing visits and liability insurance while on visits.  Check out our Interested in Joining Us? page for more information!

  • Wednesday, July 01, 2020 3:29 PM | Cindy Kaeble (Administrator)

    Cindy Kaeble, CPDT-KA

    It's that time of year again and even though there won't be too many professional firework shows this year doesn't mean that there won't be plenty of fireworks!  I am anticipating that this may mean even more fireworks throughout our neighborhoods this year and on multiple nights.  That’s why we should be making preparations now.

    Did you know that the days surrounding the July 4th holiday are often the busiest days of the year for many  animal    shelters and rescues helping lost pets?  Let’s get a plan in place to do our part to keep our dogs safe and at home.  Fireworks and other things like thunderstorms can be frightening.  Be patient and comfort them.  Their fear is real, here’s how to help.

    õ Check your pet’s ID tags and chip information to make sure that it is up-to-date in case they do go missing.  Keep their tags on them at all times.

    õ Do not bring your pets to firework displays.  Especially this year where those events are not professionally organized.

    õ Keep your dogs inside as night time approaches.  Tire them out ahead of time.  Use a white noise  machine, music or the TV to muffle outside sounds.  Products like Happy Hoodie or ThunderShirt have been shown to help some pets.

    õ If you do need to take them out, use a leash!  Attach the leash to a well fitting collar or harness they can not slip out of.  Secure all fences and gates.  Do not leave them unattended.  Dogs in a state of panic have been known to dig under or leap fences they have never breached before.

    õ Stock up now - Prepare some frozen treats like Kong’s or slow feeder bowls filled with their favorites to keep them busy.  Things like sweet potato, fat free unflavored yogurt, unsweetened applesauce or banana with some of their meal kibble is low calorie and will take a while to finish.

    “BUT I want to work on helping them be more comfortable hearing loud noises.”

    Awesome! Practice these exercises when no events are occurring and your dog is calm and not otherwise distracted.  Choose a time when the sounds they hear will be controlled by you.

    For puppies start right away - preventing the fear from developing is the best plan!  While your puppy is doing something fun like playing or eating, play thunderstorm or firework sounds on a very low volume.  This begins to build an association with those sounds with good and fun things.  Gradually increase the volume as they become more comfortable.

    Pups who have already decided that these noises are scary can change their minds with our help.  Begin in very much the same way by playing sounds at a very low volume.  Have some high value rewards on hand like cheese sticks or hot dogs and when they hear the sound you reward each time.  Using a happy phrase (like we use our marker word) can help too.  Exclaim in a happy voice something like “It’s a     Party!” right before you give the treat.  In this way if a loud sound occurs and you don’t happen to have a hot dog on you, you will exclaim “It’s a Party!” and get to the fridge for the reward.  Start off very slowly and keep these sessions short to begin with. 

    In either case, watch them for behavior that seems to regress.  That means you have moved too quickly, lower the volume and start over.

    Contact a professional trainer for more help, your pups are depending on you!

  • Saturday, April 18, 2020 4:04 PM | Linda Weingard (Administrator)

    Has your dog become a Confined Canine, Restless Rover, Fidgety Fido, Distressed Doggie, Perplexed Pooch, Hyper Hound, or a Maniac Mutt then please read this blog!

    At this time of isolation your dog (and yourself) can develop signs similar to cabin fever.  Some of these signs are, but limited to, irritability, restlessness, boredom, anxiety, depression, and irregular sleeping.  All of the above signs can promote behavior problems for your dog. 

    Here are some ways your dog (and yourself) can cope with these feelings.  Remember to follow the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

    1). Get Outside

    Take your dog for a walk!  This is an environmental enrichment along with physical exercise.  Most dogs love to take walks bonding with their favorite human.  If you take a different route each day your dog will encounter new sights, sounds, and smells.  Taking a daily walk will reduce unwanted behaviors by bringing joy and happiness and stopping boredom and stress.

    2). Exercise 

    • Play with your dog!  By playing Tug-of-War, Fetch, Hide and Seek, or Frisbee will keep your dog active, busy, and  stimulated. 
    • Exercising will prevent boredom, strengthen bonds, and a way to   keep your dog physically and mentally fit. 

    3). Brain Games 

    • Stimulate your dog’s mind!  It’s called Canine                        Enrichment.  These are additions to your dog’s environment and           lifestyle that your dog voluntarily interacts with and, as a result,           experiences improved physical and psychological health.  There             are six (6) categories:  Social, Cognitive, Environmental, Toy, Sensory,   and Food Enrichments. 

    Examples of each category are:

    • Social (dogs playing with dogs)
    • Cognitive (puzzle toy, nose work, hide and seek)
    • Environmental (chew toy, tunnel, dig box)
    • Toy (new toy, chew toy, puzzles, and Kongs)
    • Sensory (training, nose work, music, and kiddie pool)
    • Food (food puzzle, Kong wobbler, hiding treats)

    The enrichment activity that you provide for your dog can be                   classified in more than one type of enrichment.  By not giving  your dog these enrichments, negative behaviors can develop due to being bored.  Conversely, by giving your dog these enrichments your dog will have a great time being active and engaged.

    If your dog gets both physical exercise and mental stimulation it will make life better for you and your dog.  Remember that your dog must be supervised to be sure of safety when doing these activities.  Not all dogs are alike when using the above listed items.  What is appropriate for one dog, may be inappropriate for another dog.

    Know your dog!

  • Monday, March 23, 2020 6:41 PM | Linda Weingard (Administrator)

    Hi Champions,

    I hope that you and your family are safe and well.  

    Our Angel on a Leash Facebook page is up and running and needs input from you.  Please send pictures (with captions) to Lisa Haimovitz at lhaimovitz@msn.com.  The first letter of this address is L.  

    Also, our website is coming along and is now out there on the internet.  Please check the website now and again to see the progress.  We are asking our Champion Teams to send pictures of their dogs to Linda Weingard at Linda.Weingard@redcross.orgwhere they will be posted on our website.

    During this trying time, we all have to do our part to get through each day.  I can’t stop thinking about our clients that we were visiting on a weekly basis.  How much we enjoyed volunteering, meeting people and developing friendships.  Now, with the times of quarantine and lockdowns many of the people we visit are older and live by themselves and presently cannot have visitors.  Many of them looked forward to our dogs visiting and being a part of their daily life.  With that said, I contacted two of my facilities both Independent Living and Memory Care to propose “Electronic Therapy Dog Visits”.  I explained that I could send 3 to 4 pictures with descriptions (funny, interesting, or just cute) or even videos of my dog, Jackson, by e-mail once or twice a week for the facility to distribute to their residents and staff members.  The Activity Directors loved the idea and were willing to put it together on their end.  If you have the time, have pictures, or can take pictures of your dog and feel that this would work with the facilities that you visit, please contact the Activity Directors.  I hope that the “Electronic Therapy Dog Visits” will cause conversations between the residents and staff and bring a smile or two.  During this unprecedented time, AOAL can make a difference!  

    We are in this together, and we will get through this challenging time together!

    Stay Well,

  • Friday, March 13, 2020 11:04 AM | Linda Weingard (Administrator)

    Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the American Kennel Association and an organization called Dogs for Defense, called for dog owners across the country to donate quality canines to the Army’s Quartermaster Corps. As the U.S. military went on the offensive in World War II, a new focus was to supply dogs for combat assistance through the K-9 Corps.

    On March 13, 1942, Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson signed a letter that authorized the Quartermaster General to officially induct dogs into the war effort. They arrived by the thousands in all shapes and sizes. Initially there were 30 breeds accepted that were later narrowed down to just five: German Shepherds, Belgian Sheep Dogs, Doberman Pinschers, Farm Collies and Giant Schnauzers.

    The first War Dog Reception and Training Center was established at Front Royal, Virginia, in August 1942. An initial estimate was that about 200 dogs would be needed, but that estimate changed quickly as requirements increased. Reception and training were transferred to the Quartermaster Remount Branch, while Dogs for Defense continued successfully to solicit donations of dogs from all of the 48 states. Numerous qualified civilian trainers came forward to volunteer their time and expertise, without pay. The program proved to be highly successful.

    In the fall of 1942, a K-9 Quartermaster Corps training center was established at Fort Robinson, Nebraska. Thousands of dogs were trained for war duty and were used to guard facilities, carry messages, sniff out mines, and pull sleds. The Quartermaster Corps trained the dog handlers, most of whom were quartermaster soldiers. A technical manual was designed in July 1943: TM 10-396, War Dogs, contained the doctrine for training and deployment.

    Total training time was normally eight to 12 weeks. Basic training included such fundamental commands as "sit," "stay," "come," and others. The dogs also were introduced to muzzles, gas masks, gunfire and riding in vehicles. If the dogs passed the basic training routines, they were transferred to one of four specialized training programs where they underwent rigorous military training.

    The four classes consisted of sentry dogs, scout or patrol dogs, messenger dogs and mine dogs.

  • Friday, March 13, 2020 10:26 AM | Linda Weingard (Administrator)

    Link to the American Veterinary Medical Association FAQs for pet owners.


<< First  < Prev   1   2   Next >  Last >> 

Mission Statement

 Angel on a LeashTM, Inc. (AOAL), is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides volunteer therapy dog handler teams (Champions) to visit with anyone that would benefit from the human-canine bond in enhancing human health and quality of life. All handler-dog teams (Champions) are tested, certified, and registered by AOAL.  Additionally, during scheduled visits, our Champion teams are insured by AOAL.  

Angel on a LeashTM

a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization     

13 Summit Square   #136   

Langhorne, PA 19047 



Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software