Big Barker’s Good Dog Gold Medal is awarded to good dogs for their incredible acts of kindness, bravery and loyalty. Meet Ingrid the Therapy Dog! Ingrid embodies these qualities and is from right here in our backyard of West Chester, Pennsylvania. Working as a therapy dog, she has made over 200 visits in the past twelve months, and continues to be beacon of light for thousands of people.
Ingrid was given a second chance at life when re-homed to her Dad, John DeSantis, back in Aug.’19, as her original owner could not afford to maintain her. Her owner, John DeSantis, details her arrival stating, "Upon meeting Ingrid I could see she was intelligent, friendly, calm, & interacted with people exceptionally well. I knew she would be a fantastic Therapy Dog."
After several months of care, she was enrolled in and then passed each of the five different training classes to earn her Therapy Dog Certification. John is a high school teacher at Bishop Shanahan High School in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, and understands the need for therapy dogs to assist those of all ages with anxiety.
Ingrid has comforted, de-stressed, eased anxiety and made friends with thousands of people in her community. Her most meaningful visits are comforting sick/retired Nuns and bringing companionship to senior citizens at various healthcare facilities. She also does de-stress visits at colleges and schools K-12, including visits for autistic students. Ingrid has also comforted children at Covid vaccine clinics, de-stressed Police, Firefighters and EMTs at the station, staff and patrons at businesses, and supports fundraisers and charity events. "
We go out and do these visits for free," said DeSantis. "I don't charge. I don't ask for any money. I don't take donations." Their goal is to help as many people as possible and spread the joy that Ingrid brings to all she meets.
At a visit to Saint Matthew's Preschool and Kindergarten in Chester Springs, John spoke on their visit, saying "With the pandemic, there's a lot more anxiety types of behaviors that we are seeing. So, the dog therapy visits are good because they break up the boredom and it does help them with their socialization."
Ingrid was recently nominated for the American Humane Hero Dog Awards for her work as a Therapy Dog (be sure to cast your vote for her!). Big Barker would like to thank Ingrid for all that she does for her local community and all the lives she leaves a positive impact on each day. She is an exemplary pup, who is more than deserving of the Big Barker Good Dog Gold Medal Award. Check out the video below to see Ingrid recieve her Good Dog Gold Medal at a recent visit to St. Matthews Preschool!
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