Happy November! This month we have a really sweet, beautiful dog who MAST is so thankful for. Recently, she’s been to IL Masonic Hospital and a Beach Park School sharing her calm and friendly demeanor and showing young and old alike just what therapy dogs can do, and the sweetness they can bring. She is a big hit with children. Our November MASTdog of the month is the wonderful Mimi! Let’s get to know her!
What is your name? My name is Mimi Zimmerman
What breed are you? I am a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. Which is a rare breed recognized by the AKC about 20 years ago.
Were you a rescue? I was a rescue through the Greater Swiss Mountain Rescue organization. Not too many of us are rescues because there are only about 5,000 Swissy’s in the U.S.
How old are you? I am close to 11 years old and starting to feel my age.
How long have you been a therapy dog? I went through the first MAST training class in February 2017.
What made you want to become a therapy dog? Wanting to bring smiles to people with my mellow disposition.
How long did it take you to become certified? 4 weeks. In my younger days I had gone through basic and intermediate obedience, so getting certified wasn’t too tough.
What is your favorite part about being a therapy dog? Getting lots of petting and seeing all the smiles on people’s faces.
What is the biggest surprise you’ve had while being a therapy dog? That when I have worked at Illinois Masonic Hospital, the staff gets as much joy in being with me as the patients.
What is your favorite toy? My squeaky doll.
What is your favorite treat? Bacon and smoked salmon
What is your favorite spot to be pet? All over, but especially my belly.
Do you have any favorite music? I am pretty mellow, so anything not too noisy.
What does a therapy dog do, in your own words? My job is to help lower humans’ blood pressure and make them smile.
What type of dog makes a good candidate for therapy dog work? All dogs that have patience for other dogs and are social with humans.
What kind of training should a therapy dog get? The most important training is being comfortable around other dogs and listening to my handler.
How much time do you spend being a therapy dog each month? I try to help people 8- 15 hours a month. Given my age, I am starting to slow down a bit.
What is one suggestion you would make to someone considering becoming a therapy dog team? Make sure that you have the time for training and serving.
What can a therapy dog teach us about being good citizens? That being nice to people and doing little things goes a long way to make humans happy.
What do you do in your time off? Lots of naps and going to the park to play.
Do you have any quirks? As a lady, sometimes I cross my front legs when lying down.
Any last comments? I have lot’s fun being a therapy dog and I really enjoy doing it.
Thank you for what you do beautiful girl, we hope to see you out on rounds soon.