Harrison and I have been routinely going to a nursing home right near our house. It has been just great and he is a Rock Star at it! Harrison gets pretty excited when I pull out his harness and his red scarf. I must say I am getting so much out of it too. What a feel good feeling from the time we walk through the doors until we leave. We have so many new friends and have seemed to have such a positive impact on so many of the residents and staff.
Some of the highlights for me have been watching a woman get so excited that she began rocking back and forth in her wheel chair until Harrison got to her, then smiling such a big smile, only to find out from the staff that that particular resident had NEVER smiled since she had been there. Now that's all she does when she sights in on Harrison.
Another woman (memory care resident) began talking in full sentences to Harrison; everyone around us founnd out that she had NEVER spoken since she had been there, only making grunting noises. Although some days are better then others for her, I usually get a very positive response.
Then there is the woman who chases us around in her wheel chair. Harrison got right on her bed with her last week, and I only wish I had my camera.
These are just some of the many stories and experiences we have had so far. I must say I am so grateful for my dog and to be able to work together as a team to make so many happy. Everyone there has been so appreciative, but little do they know what happiness they are giving back to us. Thanks to you too Paula for introducing us to such a wonderful experience as the work of a Therapy Dog.
For the last several years, I have worked with both Marcia and Paula in training my two dogs. Their focus, their expertise, and most importantly, their patience, in working with my "animated" approach to life and my furry children have been most helpful in training both my dogs AND me. I could not imagine working with anyone else! Kolby, my Wheaten Terrier, and Finley, my Barbet, are becoming true "Family Companions"!
I am ingratiated beyond words to Ms. Marcia Richie and Dr. Julia Albright for their expertise, professionalism, perseverance, dedication, compassion, and support in working with me and my dog, Darcy, a pit bull terrier mix with fear-based behavior problems. My beloved pet, who had experienced severe abuse as a puppy, experienced a gravely serious social regression following my relocation to Western New York in March 2010.
It is no understatement to say that Marcia and Dr. Albright's assistance in rehabilitating Darcy's fear-based aggression were, and remain, integral to Darcy's continued survival. Using their collective expertise to address Darcy's problem on physiological and psychological levels, Ms. Richie and Dr. Albright have adeptly met each obstacle and challenge, and have provided me with every resource, including vitally important emotional support, needed to ensure success for Darcy. Ms. Richie works tirelessly and consistently exceeds expectations in implementing innovative training techniques, and has earned the respect of an extensive network of professionals to assist her when necessary. Dr. Albright has provided invaluable consultation to our local veterinarian to ensure that Darcy's evolving medicinal needs are continually met.
Although Darcy is a dog that many professionals would have been justified in refusing to work with, Ms. Richie and Dr. Albright's efforts have produced a happy, healthy dog whose quality of life continues to improve every day. Darcy is thriving, both physically and emotionally, and we are enjoying growing social opportunities. Ms. Richie and Dr. Albright have given me back my best friend, and for that, I will be forever grateful beyond words. There is no measure of endorsement that could possibly justify the quality of their work and the quality of their character.
Keri & Darcy - Lancaster, New York
Over the years we’ve worked with Marcia and The Family Companion with many different dogs with a variety of needs. We’ve taken our puppies from Puppy Preschool classes through more advanced training classes. Throughout each program, the lessons were well presented and supportive, filled with opportunities for practice and practical tips.
Beyond the classroom, we have worked with Marcia in our home to help us deal with some serious issues with our rescue dogs. Marcia helped us successfully navigate the challenges of separation anxiety, aggression between resident dogs and new dogs, controlling the flow of a house with seven dogs at once, and more. Her advice is consistently pragmatic and helpful, and she made herself available for support between visits. Her many years of experience and her genuine caring make Marcia an excellent trainer. I highly recommend Marcia and The Family Companion.
My wife Jen and I owned dogs for 14 years, when they both passed away 11 weeks apart in 2017. We decided to get 2 puppies shortly thereafter. We thought we were good dog owners and knew all the right stuff , but thought it might be best to have a dog trainer involved in our new puppy endeavors. We hired Marcia and met with her before the new pups came home - and boy oh boy, are we SO GLAD we did !! Turns out we had a lot to learn - Marcia to the rescue!! Her insights and methods had us thinking about the details of ownership and training , that we would have never done right on our own ( even after having dogs for nearly 15 years prior! ) We booked a package with Marcia for in home visits with the pups, and we enrolled in the Family Companion's "puppy school" when the dogs were old enough and vaccinated - the entire experience was A + + + + . So many valuable lessons learned in both settings!!! Our dogs have really responded to Marcia's teachings - they are well behaved, they socialize well with other dogs and guests to our home, and learn new commands with ease , thanks to Marcia and her proven methods. We re-booked Marcia as the dogs got a little older, to continue to maximize their positive behaviors and habits. We learned new, valuable lessons at every visit! We could not be happier and more thankful!! The services Marcia and Family Companion have provided to our family are PRICELESS - worth every penny 100X over ! Our dogs are great - friends and family are always impressed by how well they respond to commands, how they run into their crates when we need to leave the house, and of course all the tricks ! We are in your debt Marcia!! I have recommended Family Companion to others and will continue to do so !!! Thanks for everything!
Excellent classes and instructors! Fun AND educational for both dogs AND their humans! We participated in both the Puppy Preschool and the Family Companion class and would highly, highly recommended both!
Classes started and ended on time, well organized, helpful with individual questions, friendly staff that was well educated. 5 Stars in my opinion!