The seasons are changing, so Happy holidays from MAST! We hope you have a joyful time with your families.

Ready to meet someone joyful? For our MASTdog of December, we have a really happy adventurer! This girl loves to go camping with her dad. She enjoys joining him out in nature walking and hiking all the time. Let’s get to know this energetic sweet girl!

What is your name? Finley

What breed are you? Lab / Boxer

Were you a rescue? I was a rescue being trained as a service dog, I was way too friendly and flunked the class and became a therapy dog.

How old are you? I will be three on Christmas Day

How long have you been a therapy dog? For 2 years

What made you want to become a therapy dog? I love to meet people, especially children and make everyone smile.

How long did it take you to become certified? It took a couple weeks of training, more for my master than me.

What is your favorite part about being a therapy dog? Hanging out with people, especially children, and hanging out with my buddies

What is the biggest surprise you’ve had while being a therapy dog? The reaction I get from people who don’t usually see therapy dogs, the smiles they get.

What is your favorite toy? My favorite toy is a Frisbee, I love to chase and catch it, I also love tennis balls.

What is your favorite treat? I love a lot of things but especially raw peanuts.

What is your favorite spot to be pet? I love my stomach scratched

Do you have any favorite music? My favorite music is the Grateful Dead.

What does a therapy dog do, in your own words? A therapy dog gives love and understanding to people who need it, especially children.

What type of dog makes a good candidate for therapy dog work? All dogs can be good therapy dogs, but it takes a special attitude, the rest is a lot of work- but when all done, it’s a wonderful thing.

What kind of training should a therapy dog get? A therapy dog needs to go through 10 weeks of training. We learn to work with people who are handicapped, and children, and we learn the ability to listen to our master no matter what.

How much time do you spend being a therapy dog each month? Every other weekend if we can, and also twice a month at domestic violence shelters, and on Christmas day – when I get to hang out with 200 sailors!

What is one suggestion you would make to someone considering becoming a therapy dog team? Have an open mind, enjoy people and other four-legged furry dog-friends.

What can a therapy dog teach us about being good citizens? Teaches people that dogs are loving, giving, patient, and can be trained to be caregivers to people who need it.

What do you do in your time off? I love to chase squirrels, go to the dog park, and when I am not doing that, I sleep a lot!

Do you have any quirks? I love to sleep with my brother cat. At first, he hated me, but now he’s my best friend. Also, I love to look out the window at birds using the bird feeder.

Any last comments? Being a therapy dog is such a great adventure, so I suggest if you have it in you, give it a try. It’s so rewarding, I can’t put it into words.

Thank you for the interview Finley, you are so sweet and fun! I can hardly wait to see you next weekend at the Lovell Federal Health Center visiting with veterans. I am sure we will have quite the adventure!

If you are interested in volunteering with MAST, please check out this page for more info.