One week after winning Best in Show at the 2007 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, Ch. Felicity’s Diamond Jim, CD, RN, aka James, visited residents at the Virginian Retirement Community for a specially prepared lunch.
“They asked what his favorite foods were,” recalls owner Teresa Patton, a breeder who lives in Virginia. “James was served green beans, cubed chicken breast, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream on a silver tray. All the while he was eating, people were touching him, petting him, and he was fine with it.”
James, a certified pet therapy dog, began visiting nursing homes at about 7 months old. Patton says his aptitude for therapy work, much of it with Alzheimer’s and cancer patients, stems from the breed’s natural affinity for people. “Springer Spaniels have a deep-seated need for companionship, affection, and a close relationship with humans,” she says.
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