Skip to comments.16-year-old and her dog spread smiles
Posted on 03/16/2012 8:13:09 AM PDT by Altariel
SYLACAUGA Ellie is a girl on the town.
The four-year-old Doberman Pincher is a frequent visitor at schools, nursing homes, libraries and more, spreading smiles wherever she goes.
She has a lot of friends, said 16-year-old Rebekah Rawlinson, Ellies owner and dedicated trainer.
Along with more than 30 competition ribbons and six titles, Ellie is also a certified therapy dog.
Rebekah, who has been training Ellie for three years, said they got the idea to get her certified after visiting a nursing home.
My great aunt was in the nursing home, and she loved dogs so we wanted to take Ellie to see her, she said. We were at the nursing home one day, and somebody suggested we get insurance on Ellie, so we started looking at different organizations.
She soon located Therapy Dogs International, a national register of dogs and handlers certified to visit public groups for therapy purposes.
Since becoming certified, Ellie has made an impact during her many public visits. Jo Rawlinson, Rebekahs mother, said people react strongly to Ellie.
People warm up to her really fast, Jo said. She has all the patience in the world, and if you put her in a crowded room, she will find the person who needs her attention.
This week, Ellie visited a kindergarten class at Indian Valley Elementary School, where Rebekah said the children were enthusiastic about petting and playing with her.
Its really neat to see how people react to her, she said. They just run right up.
Rebekah works with Talladega-based dog trainer Julie Moon. Jo credits Moon for encouraging Rebekah to compete in American Kennel Club events.
When we began training, our end result we hoped for was for Ellie to be a therapy dog, but it has turned into much more than that, Jo said.
Ellie recently earned the title of RAE, or rally advanced excellent, which means Rebekah is competing in the professional ranks. Moon said Rebekahs level of achievement is unusual for a teenager.
RAE is quite a title for an adult, much less a 16-year-old, Moon said. Normally teenagers arent the best trainers, but Rebekah is really determined and works well with Ellie.
Moon said dog training requires a consistent commitment of 15-30 minutes a day.
It doesnt sound like much time, but if it were easy, everyone would have a trained dog, Moon said. There are so many more things to do with your time now, but Rebekah really made a commitment to it. Whatever she puts her mind to, she achieves.
Rebekah said being the youngest competitor in many of her events is fun.
A lot of people at the competitions are very encouraging, she said. They love that Im doing it, because not many young people are interested in dog training, and they dont want the sport to die out.
Rebekah and Ellie have attended competitions in Atlanta, Birmingham, Montgomery and Nashville, and Rebekah is considering moving to the national level with the Doberman Nationals in September.
Dog training is just the beginning of her hobbies, however. Rebekah is involved in multiple school organizations as well as tennis and piano.
As to how she finds the time for dog training, Rebekah said Ellie gives her no choice.
She gets mad if I dont pay her enough attention, Rebekah said. Her favorite way to get back at me is to hide my shoes.
Rebekah, who hopes to make dog training a lifelong hobby, said she and Ellie have no intention of stopping their visits or competitions any time soon.
I just really enjoy it, she said. Weve had a lot of experiences we wouldnt have had without Ellie.
Try that with a cat.
Google “therapy cats” and be enlightened.
There were a couple of cats at the nursing home my late dad was in and they brought a lot of pleasure to the patients. My dad was a cat lover and he really enjoyed it when one of the cats wandered by.
Pincher, LOL. It’s Pinscher.
I have had a Doberman for about a year now, and probably every dog I ever own from now on will be a Doberman. My dog is smart. She learns what she is being taught in two tries. Dobermans are not tje one-person dogs that shepherds are. They are loyal to whichever family member they are with. True family dogs.
Many cats are naturally therapeutic. And they’re not likely to turn and rip you limb from limb.
“one-person dogs that shepherds are. They are loyal to whichever family member they are with.”
Being a 1-person dog doesn’t mean there is no affinity for anyone else. I’ve never seen that to be the case with our Shepherds. My dogs tend to be devoted 1st to me, but attached to all the family they know. Likewise my sister’s. Ask my parents, husband or toddler as well as her family.
Just remember...Dobermans are tax collector dogs!
That said, they are beautiful, majestic animals. My Golden used to train with a red one.
Is Odhinn looking for a “girlfriend” ping?
My best friend’s GSD gravitates to my husband whenever we go over there. That is because my husband will quietly scratch her neck under the table. I am 2nd choice for the same treatment. That’s because her own family is not allowed to pet her at the kitchen table.
I wanted to do this with my Greyhounds.
But I was told that I have to go thru all sorts of licensing, certifications, training, blah blah blah.
Just like with everything else, the government wants to be in control of it.
My dogs need no training. They are sweet and docile (see my profile).
So I said forget it.
Many cats are naturally therapeutic. And theyre not likely to turn and rip you limb from limb.
Two quotes on the same thread. Which is it? Are they devoted and then rip you limb from limb or the reverse?
A friend of mine had a Shepherd. It was a guard dog when it came to guarding a vehicle or firearms. Outside of that, it was the friendliest dog you’d ever meet. I made the mistake of sitting down in a recliner, and the dog jumped in my lap, knocked off my hat, and licked me to death.
A Doberman doesnt fit on a lap as well as cats. Also, the low frequency of a purring cat has been shown to help bones heal. Try that with a dog.
“Many cats are naturally therapeutic. And theyre not likely to turn and rip you limb from limb.”
they’ll just scratch your eyes out
Most countries have dropped the “Pinscher” part entirely in favor of just “Dobermann”.
Congratulations on your new addiction.
[I’ve avoided “rehab” for 37 years]
Odin adores hubby but if I leave the room, hubby ceases to exist.
If the dog can follow, he will.
If the dog can’t follow, he’ll sit at/watch the door until I return.
Odin is My Dog.
Second that. My sister-in-law owned a Schutzhund-trained Shepherd for protection. She was definitely his human of choice, but he loved all of us. He was such a sweet, good, precious dog....unless you happened to be a stranger, LOL.
Gotta be a European gal, though.
I was going to answer you but Odin suddenly ripped my arms off and it took me a couple minutes to get Dragon up and running, using only a pencil held in my teeth.
“A Doberman doesnt fit on a lap as well as cats.”
Odin didn’t get that memo.
As soon as I hit the lottery, I’ll let you know...:D
I respect dogs. I know what they’re capable of. I’m realistic. All this “dog-loving” kootchie-koo and then someone posts about Pit Bull Terriers ripping people apart, and all the people come out against PBTs, who are dogs (never mind the others that also attack). That’s reality. Dogs can be great, but they also must be respected for the havoc they can - and sometimes want to, despite all the nonsense “they only want to please (someone else)” - wreak.
Horse people have much more sense than dog people, in my view. They know horses can kill them, even if not intended, and show more respect as well as love, without all the kootchie-koo foolishness for an animal that is a carnivore and can intend to kill.
[still hitting the singles scene pretty heavy]
That would be reading a *Nook*...with the battery on 2% :)
...and if the book was good enough...I wouldn’t even notice the *incoming missile*.
You’re much more likely to go to the hospital due to a dog than cat.
Yes, they both can have questionable character. Overall dogs are more dangerous.
Don't forget about the therapy ferrets...
But those are *liberals*.
I like the way you think.
“Yes, they both can have questionable character. Overall dogs are more dangerous.”
Dogs are highly more trainable and in training socialized with their family than are cats.
A cat is a cat is a cat. It is what it is, personality wise, and that’s all it can or will be, for good or bad.
Friends of mine - a couple - who have always had dogs (more than one at a time usually) and cats (more than one at a time usually) have never once themselves, nor any of their freinds or family been to the hospital due to any incident with their dogs, but they and one friend and one relative have been to the emergency room on a number of occasions, as a result fo angry and vicious scratches from their cats, requiring stitches every time. One cat has - since the last attack - had to be anesthetized with a dart, like a zoo animal, just to get it to the vet to take care of its own medical issues.
I have been friendly with my relatives cats. I have let them know they need for their wills to plan on their care, for, no matter what. it won’t come from me.
Hopefully Salamander is budgeting for it right now...
They’ll want steak dinners for all their guests, toilet water in every glass, and professional belly rubbers on hand.
There are no bad dogs, only bad dog owners.
But a cat is a cat is a cat, no matter what, good or bad.
Hopefully he’s not expecting you to foot the bill for his partying. ;-)
Toilet water!! The drink of choice for my mutts!!!
“There are no bad dogs, only bad dog owners.”
No, THAT is nuts. I’m tired of this liberal-like namby-pamby “it’s all the human’s fault”, evidenced on many dog-attack threads here. Sorry, they are autonomous animals - just like the cats you hate - who have minds of their own. Sometimes, those minds are poor. Sometimes, they are born bad (hence why we try to pick a good pup out of a litter, rather than just any pup will do). Sometimes, they acquire a disease or condition that renders them bad.
Sometimes it’s the owner, but it is NOT always the human’s fault. Not every animal who acts poorly in the shelter was “abused” by some human. Sometimes they’re abandoned exactly because they have that poor character.
And if it is the owner’s fault - to what extent do you consider “abuse”? I could say people who treat their dogs like “humans” and kootchie-koo them and spoil them (rotten) are pushing the dog to rotteness, and thus it’s abuse. Or is it just when the dog is blatantly kicked around?
Dogs are not automatons, robots who are always exactly so. They are living beings with very different personalities, as different as their exteriors have come to be.
“never once themselves, nor any of their freinds or family been to the hospital due to any incident with their dogs, but they and one friend and one relative have been to the emergency room on a number of occasions, as a result fo angry and vicious scratches from their cats”
The anecdote issue.
That’s nice. And the conclusion absurd.
Take it up with the CDC. Never mind - how many times do you see cat attacks in the news?
The rare situations you cynically envision ... it would be a shame if that sort of feeling deprived people of the love, joy and companionship provided by dogs.
I would not have a Pit Bull, but you are way over the top on other dogs.
LOL! Hey, I like ferrets, too.