Gus, Therapy Dog
Gus is a 5-year-old black Labrador retriever, working with the Counseling Services staff on both the Emory & Marion campuses. Gus has completed years of training and is ready to serve the students of Emory & Henry. Gus will be utilized in the provision of animal assisted therapy during counseling sessions and will also provide comfort/support to students in a variety of locations. Gus serves as an ambassador to Counseling Services and the PRC, helping reduce the stigma that exists at times around seeking support for mental health needs.
Gus previously worked as a service dog and was trained as a physical assistance dog, partnered with an individual with Parkinson’s disease. Since then, Gus has received additional training to become a facility dog. Gus is trained to recognize when a person is experiencing distress and offer support.
Gus comes to us from Service Dogs of Virginia (SDV) in Charlottesville. SDV is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization that raises, trains, and places dogs to assist people with disabilities and provides facility dogs for courthouses, counseling centers, schools, and other therapeutic settings. SDV is fully accredited by Assistance Dogs International.
SDV relies on corporate sponsorships and individual donors in order to ensure their invaluable work continues. You can learn more about ways to support SDV’s work here.
Gus loves human interaction and seems to really enjoy his work as a facility dog. When not working, Gus enjoys playing with his favorite toys, long walks with his nose to the ground, and retrieving sticks from local rivers/streams. He is also an expert napper.