In Spring 2017 we were privileged to have a Pacific University doctoral candidate, Sia Kruss, as our intern. Among her assignments was to design and execute a survey of our existing organizational partners with the goal of collecting specific feedback on how The Little Dog Laughed was perceived and eliciting suggestions on how we could better meet their needs. CLICK HERE to read the full report on her findings.
From her report:
In order to fully understand the value The Little Dog Laughed provides to its partner organizations, survey recipients were also asked how the partnership had improved the quality of the services their organization provides. …The respondent representing McKay Elementary pointed out that “it provides a different way to facilitate social skills/friendship groups, combining dog-assisted sessions with regular sessions, thus ensuring transferability and practice of the skills,” while the respondent representing Good Neighbor Center emphasized that “this program does an excellent job of helping little ones learn important skills that help them heal from trauma. The program looks like fun games or information about how to train dogs, but underneath the fun was an excellent framework that helped our kids learn to regulate their emotions, set and respect boundaries, and develop perseverance, patience, and the importance of encouraging others. These skills are invaluable for kids.”
Survey recipients were also asked what specific changes could be made to improve the partnerships between their organizations and The Little Dog Laughed… Overall the feedback indicated that, rather than having any specific concerns about the partnerships, The Little Dog Laughed’s partner organizations would simply like to see their partnerships expand to encompass more visits from more dogs.
On the whole, the feedback received through the distribution of this survey was extremely positive. Results indicated that the organizations partnering with The Little Dog Laughed have been extremely satisfied with the services their clients have received. In addition, several respondents demonstrated a clear understanding of the multi-layered nature of these services and the deeper benefits this type of dog-assisted therapy program can provide. Specifically, these benefits include teaching children valuable social and emotional skills which can be applied to their interpersonal relationships, not just their interactions with canines. Moving forward, this survey indicates that The Little Dog Laughed has an opportunity to expand the services they provide to their current partner organizations, in addition to exploring new opportunity and organizations where their service may be needed.
The following are earlier testimonials are from the counselors we team with at Parry Center, Raphael House of Portland, Monika’s House, and McKay Elementary.
November 22, 2016
“For the past four years, The Little Dog Laughed has been facilitating weekly groups for school aged youth living in our emergency shelter. Over the years, many families have highlighted the positive impact that participating in The Little Dog Laughed’s Train the Dog groups has had on youth participants’ confidence and engagement. We believe that the program models and reinforces what safe and supportive relationships can look like, as well as helping youth to learn to recognize and respect boundaries. Although this organization addresses the issue of family violence from a different angle than most members, it seems like it would be a valuable addition to the Family Violence Coordinating Council by adding to its youth lens.”
Youth Program Coordinator
Raphael House of Portland
December 4, 2014
“I’m sorry that X was sick. I know he has been looking forward to meeting with you and Lindy. I am happy that he is demonstrating empathy as well. He has definitely been doing better with that lately. Your work with X has been one of the only bright spots of his week. I greatly appreciate your flexibility and patience with all that comes with this work …
I often have children asking to work with you. I can start writing down the names and talking with parents and guardians… I have been really impressed with the work that you do, and would love to help you expand the program here at the Parry Center.”
Joby Mahto, MSW, CSWA
Child & Family Therapist
Trillium Family Services
November 12, 2013
“The Little Dog Laughed program provides the children in our program with a reliable, positive relationship to tether them through a sea of change. The youth who participate learn valuable skills and gain a sense of accomplishment and capability through their work with Linda and Eli.”
Evanna Bradley-Tschirgi, MA
Monika’s House Shelter
Domestic Violence Resource Center
“Working with Eli has helped our students learn skills in getting along with others, such as being respectful and influencing others in positive ways. It has been a unique opportunity to teach social skills in a new way, adding to the school’s anti-bullying and violence prevention curriculum.”
MS, Clinical Psychology
SchoolCounselor, McKay Elementary
“I just wanted to let you know that the dog training was a big hit. N. learned how to be more aware of our dog’s actions and how he was reacting to her. She learned how to command and how to follow through with our dog. She is simply able to do better as well with humans. She has learned how to read people and their reactions to situations and has been able to stand up and get her information out to the other person.
I hope this will continue next year. N. was not aware that she was learning while she was teaching the dog the commands. Thank you for allowing N. to be in this class – it was a winner!!”
Parent of a participating McKay Elementary child