Amy Johnson

Amy Johnson is a counselor, lecturer, founder, and program director of the non-profit organization, Teacher's Pet: Dogs and Kids Learning Together. 


  • My dog would be a great therapy dog! What next?

    Jan 14, 2010
    A friend of mine had been in the hospital for weeks experiencing a combination of pain, boredom and a disconnection from her loved ones. She tried texting, facebooking, watching TV, striking up conversation with the nurses but what finally roused her out of her funk was hearing the familiar jingling sounds sound outside her room. She sat upright instantly, wondering desperately if it could possibly be a dog. She said that once she was able to pet and hug her furry visitor, her spirits were lifted.
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  • Monkey Business

    Jan 07, 2010
    A slippery road, faulty equipment, a medical mishap. Just a sample of accidents which have caused thousands of people to spend their lives confined to a wheel chair or bed. Paraplegics and quadriplegics struggle with everyday executive functioning such as teeth brushing, getting dressed, changing the channel and sipping from a straw...compounding feelings of helplessness, isolation and depression.
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  • Should old acquaintance be forgot?

    Dec 31, 2009
    Auld Lang Syne Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind ? Should old acquaintance be forgot, and old lang syne ? For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne, we'll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne. He was only six years old when he died. My husband and I had taken our shih tzu, Tobey, for a walk. After being spooked by something unknown to us, he managed to twist his head and body enough to slip out of his collar and run into the street. Despite my best efforts to stand in the middle of the road, begging the driver to stop, it was too late. The car halted but not before his front tires made contact with Tobey’s small body. The driver took off without so much as a backward glance. I started toward home, carrying Tobey and pleading with him to stay with us, but before we got there, I felt his body go limp.
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  • Considerations when preparing to use animal-assisted therapy

    Dec 15, 2009
    “I named my dog Faith. I named her that because I have faith in her.” "I have learned to be more patient and Mack has brought up my mood when I’m down.” “Working with my dog has allowed me to learn so much about myself and others.” “…I finally got my level for the first time since I’ve been here! I want to come work with my dog so it makes me try harder in my program.” These quotes come from youth in our program who have been labeled as a “bad seed,” “monster,” “unreachable” or “untreatable.” Thankfully, the dogs with whom they have worked do not see the children that way. Instead, these behaviorally challenged shelter dogs have helped the youth improve their self-efficacy, self-worth, patience, impulse control and accountability.
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  • Animal Assisted Therapy by any other name…is not the same

    Dec 02, 2009
    For some of those planning to use animal assisted therapy (AAT), it is equivalent to getting a new piece of technology without the benefit of directions. AAT seems simple enough; just bring the friendly dog along to the clinic as you would any other accessory and voila, sit back and watch the magic happen. Wouldn’t it be great if it worked that way? But alas, just like any other therapeutic intervention, it doesn’t.
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