Use these forms to report your therapy hours:
Therapy Newsletters Archive
Past issues of Licking Loneliness are archived here.
These dogs encourage smiles and laughter, provide help in forgetting pain, relieve boredom and offer unlimited, unconditional love and attention in hospitals, nursing homes, schools for autistic children and many more health facilities. These remarkable dogs help Alzheimer’s patients come into reality, lower blood pressure, brighten someone’s day, help with physical therapy and change lives. This is another area at which our beardies excel.
This kind of work is mentally and emotionally challenging for the dogs and their partners. The beardies must tolerate unusual noises, rolling carts, wheelchairs, rough handling, and other unexpected situations. Their partners have to have patience, a sense of humor and a deep passion for helping others.
Therapy work is rewarding and bittersweet. You get attached to the people you visit knowing that on any given day you may walk into their room and they won’t be there. We’ve seen a significant increase in beardies doing therapy work and we’re certain this trend will continue.
This FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) article explains the roles of service dogs with regard to the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and other topics related to service animals.
BCCA Therapy Dog Certificates
The BCCA Therapy Dog Committee presents BCCA Therapy Dog Certificates to bearded collies who are improving our communities and making a difference in the lives of those who are disabled, hurting or forgotten.
BCCA Therapy Dog Certificates are awarded annually to beardies doing therapy work based on verified hours of service. Requirements are as follows:
- Level I – a minimum of 25 service hours
- Level II – a minimum of 50 service hours
- Level III – a minimum of 100 service hours
- Level IV – a minimum of 200 hours of therapy work
- Level V – a minimum of 300 hours of therapy work
Dogs must be certified through a therapy organization that requires certification and carries liability insurance (e.g. Delta Society, Therapy Dog International), and handlers must be members in good standing with the BCCA.
Licking Loneliness, the Therapy Newsletter
The Therapy Newsletter needs your stories! If you do pet-assisted therapy work with your Beardie, please contact the Committee and send along your stories. The Newsletter also includes stories on useful topics such as the AKC Therapy Awards program, service dogs vs. therapy dogs, and so on.
The Therapy Newsletters archive is here.
Beardie Pet Therapy Yahoo Group
A chat group is available for those interested in sharing pet therapy stories, learning about how to get started in pet therapy, action photos, and more. Once you get involved in pet therapy, your life will be enriched with the heart-bursting memories of sharing your special dog with those desperately in need of a friend.
To join the group, send an email to
or search for the group from http://groups.yahoo.com and use the Join button to request membership.
The Andrew Award
The Andrew Award is given to the Beardie/owner team who completes the most service hours in a given year.
Past Andrew Award Winners
2013 – Suzanne Buck and Traveler
2012 – Deborah Lively and Hateya Sam THD CGC – 270.5 hours
2011 – Deborah Lively and Hateya Sam THD CGC – 219.5 hours
2010 – Suzanne Easley Buck and Traveler (Gemstone My Winsome Traveler) – 177 hours
2009 – Suzanne Buck and Traveler (Gemstone My Winsome Traveler) – 207 hours
2008 – Gretchen Blackburn and Patrick (Shanaspree Aim Fora Far Post, CGC, HIC) – 105 hours
Award for Most Hours in Pet Therapy Work
2007 – (1st award) Anne Weiss and Ch Crisch Double Deluxe HT – 82 hours
The Avery Award
The Avery Award honors the memory of 11-year-old Avery Dudasch, who showed great courage, hope, and faith in her battle with cancer. A certificate will be presented annually at the BCCA National Specialty Awards Banquet to any Bearded Collie and his/her handler, who have performed pet therapy visiting ill children (at a hospital setting) during the previous calendar year. To be eligible, the dog must be certified through a therapy organization that requires certification and carries liability insurance (e.g. Delta Society/Pet Partners, Therapy Dogs International, Therapy Dogs, Inc.) and the handler must be a BCCA member in good standing. Additional eligibility requirements can be found under Standing Rule 07/08-03. The BCCA Therapy Committee will be responsible for verifying recipients of this award each year.
Past Avery Award Winners
- Suzanne Buck and Traveler (Gemstone My Winsome Traveler)
- Polley McClure and Calleigh Burdoch O’Pinnacles
2012 – Sandy Dubin and Nash (Am/Int CH Scott’s Ragtyme Nash Metropolitan RN HT)
- Noel Thurner and Lammermuir’s Col Tom Parker
- Polley McClure and Calleigh Burdoch O’Pinnacles
- Sandy Dubin and Whiskey (CH Shadowfax’s Firewater CGC RN PT)
The Casey Award
The BCCA will recognize any physically challenged OR rescue Bearded Collie doing therapy work by issuing a Casey Award at the National Specialty Awards Banquet. This award is in memory of Casey, who overcame his early life in a puppy mill and an injury which cost him a leg, to become a much beloved therapy dog to thousands of people. To be eligible, dogs must have some sort of physical challenge (e.g. missing a limb, deaf, blind) OR be a rescue Beardie. In addition, the dog must be certified through a therapy organization that requires certification and carries liability insurance (e.g. Delta Society/Pet Partners, Therapy Dogs International, Therapy Dogs, Inc.) and the handler must be a BCCA member in good standing. This certificate will be given to the same dog only once.
Past Casey Award Winners
- Lori Wolbach and Annie (Ha’Penny Deja Anastasia the Royal Princess)
- Patrick Murphy and Casey