I, Shelly, met my first therapy dog
at a dog show we attended in Hilton Head. Seamus (the brown one) and I were waiting for our class and a gentleman walked up with a dog with the Delta vest on. I asked him about the organization and he explained what they did. He then gave me the web address to find out more information.
My husband Chuck and I
have been breeding Chesapeake Bay Retrievers for 18+ years. We started to show Seamus in 2010 and took him to AKC Grand Champion in 24 months. Cocky (the blond one) began his show career a year ago and he is currently 2 points from an AKC Championship.
We at Claddagh Farm
breed for temperament as well as conformation and we have been fortunate in the dogs and bitches we have bred. All of our puppies are well socialized before they move to their new homes and we thoroughly screen and keep in touch with our puppy owners. This has resulted in many of our first time owners coming back to us when their first dog ages and passes. We are constantly receiving photos, emails and videos of our puppies from our owners. Several years ago the farm held a Claddagh Chesapeake reunion picnic on the farm and we had 20 dogs with their owners running around the farm. It was fantastic!
Our Chesapeake puppies
have been used for many disciplines including conformation, agility, dock diving, hunting and companionship. I don’t think many dogs of this breed have been used for pet therapy. We have been fortunate to have bred our two remarkable males that have the perfect attitude for their therapy jobs. Both Seamus and Cocky are loving attention hounds. If you want something to love on…they are waiting!
Chuck and I have an 80 acre farm
with horses, cats, chickens and other wildlife. The dogs are able to run free and explore in the fields and in the woods. I think this also contributes to their great natures as they get the exercise that a large dog requires so that boredom doesn’t set in.
Therapy work is a job that helps many.
We take every opportunity to tell our new puppy owners not only about how great the breed is but how versatile, when properly trained. They are impressed with our dogs so we take every opportunity to encourage formal training and giving the dog a “job”.
Every time we enter a facility
we see grumpy, stressed faces turn into smiles when they spot the dogs. Our clients really couldn’t care less about seeing the humans…just bring them the doggie love! That is an amazing feeling. For days after our visits Chuck and I talk about what benefits we brought to the facility and clients on our last visit, how the dogs helped clients and what we can change for the next visit. One doggie “hug” or “kiss” can change a client’s entire outlook for the future.
In 2014 we brought on a new facility.
The dogs visit “Transitions” shelter in Columbia one afternoon a month to bring comfort and smiles to those living in the shelter.
In 2013 Cocky and I became a HOPE Animal Assisted Crisis Response Team.
Our first callout was in response to the Paine College shootings in Augusta, Georgia. Cocky and a black lab named Gordon brought smiles to the tense students and faculty. Click here to read the full newspaper article and click here to learn more about HOPE.
Chuck, Shelly and Cocky met with Governor Nikki Haley to discuss the role that HOPE Animal Assisted Crisis Response animals play in South Carolina during a disaster. The Governor is a dog lover and has her own dog. Cocky instantly fell in love after he received a governmental ear scratch. We discussed our visits to the veterans and how we might further assist them with trained companion dogs and/or service dogs. The Governor was very receptive to our ideas and we hope to be able to further assist veterans with the help of her office.
Claddagh Farm Chesapeakes
are remarkable in their capacity for sympathy and healing comfort and we are proud to be able to promote the breed and share their love with others.
Registered with: Pet Partners
Services: Pet Therapy Visits, Bite Prevention Programs
Availability: One Time Events, Evening and Weekends
Contact: Please contact me through the Contact Form on this website.