PVD Pups Calm Travelers at T.F. Green Airport
Therapy dogs help people navigate the pitfalls of travel.
We’ve all been there. Your luggage is MIA or you’re en route to see an ailing grandmother. Enter mascot Teddy —or Dakota or Atticus or any member of PVD Pups: an elite squad of therapy dogs that roam Warwick’s T.F. Green airport wearing “pet me” vests.
Teddy — full name, Theodore Francis Green — idled at the Smithfield shelter until being recruited by Susan Parker, who runs the all-volunteer program and co-owns Dynamic Dog Training. Four months after Parker adopted Teddy, he became a therapy dog. Her nine-week course ensures certified dogs possess the obedience and temperament to remain calm amid airport stimuli.
There have been bloopers (Yes, Teddy, we saw you steal that salami sandwich) and many Hallmark moments. One woman was “crying because she missed a connecting flight and lost her wallet; she had no money to get home,” says Parker. “She said, ‘This made my day’ — which made my day.” A pregnant mother asked to “borrow” Teddy and Dakota to occupy her twins since their flight had been delayed several hours. The PVD Pups babysat while sanity was restored.
“These dogs are like my children,” says Liberty Luciano, the airport’s executive services administrator who spearheaded the idea. “I’m so proud of them.” dynamicdogtraining.webs.com