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]
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