My name is Tinkerbell and I can tell you that a fairy has been looking after me ever since I was taken to Young-Williams Animal Center. I was young, scared, and had a litter of puppies. A wonderful staff person at YWAC took me home with her and became my foster mom until we could all be adopted. Soon after my pups were ready for adoption and we arrived back at YWAC a group of people came by. They said that they were looking for five special dogs who were going to get a chance to work with troubled teenagers who lived in local residential treatment facilities. Well, I wagged my tail a whole lot and showed off my sweet personality – and I got chosen! I became a HALT dog (Humans and Animals Learning Together).
With the help of adult volunteers the teens were shown how to teach us obedience commands; not only did we learn good dog manners but we got hugged and brushed and walked and even chances to go over jumps and ramps on something called an agility course. Best of all we got to spend time with some really neat kids who learned how much fun and rewarding it was to help homeless dogs become more adoptable.
Sure enough, I got adopted by a wonderful family with two little girls – they want me to sleep with them at night! They told me they wanted to dress me up on occasion – maybe like a fairy! Oh wow, my dreams have come true. Thank you YWAC, my foster mom, HALT, my new forever family and, especially, the teens who taught me so much.
If you would like to learn more information about the HALT program, go to www.vet.utk.edu/halt/