The following information is based on years of experience as to what works best for you and your dog. God will direct you and lead you as you follow Him in this ministry.
- Start training your dog by putting on his/her special Canines for Christ red vest and, as you are going to a facility, tell him/her that it is time to "go to work." Your dog will quickly learn and his/her behavior will change as he/she becomes familiar with the vest and environment.
- Walk your dog for 5-10 minutes outside to get some energy out and "do their business."
- Always carry a bag of treats to reward for good behavior (sitting, being still, etc.)
- Do not allow any patient to give food to your dog. Your dog is working and must not expect a reward from anyone but you.
- Keep your dog on a tight leash at all times or make sure you have him/her under control.
- Be careful to avoid having your dog jump on anyone.
- Always identify yourself and your dog by name and that you are part of the national pet therapy outreach ministry called "Canines For Christ." We are here to tell you that “God loves you today”. This is a simple, but powerful message of God’s abundant love that everyone needs to hear.
- If possible, take a pad to write the names of the people you have visited when you leave so that you can pray for them in their time of need.
- Always leave the "prayer card" that shows you visited and the wonderful message it contains.
Finally, and most importantly, always pray before you enter a facility. An example is:
Our heavenly Father, thank You allowing me and _________ to be a part of this ministry to give glory to You and spread Your message of love, hope and compassion to the people we visit today. May we bring light and happiness into their life today and may our words and actions reflect You to be used as your instruments. In the loving name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.
You are doing a wonderful thing in the service of God and will be richly blessed.
God Bless You!