Therapy Dog

B.A., Love and Kindness University

Like many of you, I have my own journey with anxiety. There are some dogs that always seem to be so happy and carefree, but not me! Since I was a puppy, I had a hard time trusting unfamiliar people. New situations made me feel on edge.  It’s probably because I didn’t have the easiest start to my life. When I was born, I was abandoned on the side of a road. I lived at the animal shelter with a lot of bigger and louder dogs until I was adopted by my mom, Devin. When my mom took me home, I was so scared in the car that I threw up everywhere!

Now, at the Anxiety Institute, I love my job greeting everyone that comes through the door. When you meet me, you might not know that at first, I was so scared by my job that I just hid under my mom’s desk all day. As months went by, however, I did my own exposure therapy. I ventured out gradually, exploring all the offices, saying hi to staff and clients, and getting treats from my newfound friends. Over time, I realized I was seeing the same people every day and that they were kind and accepting and liked me for me.  That was when I became less afraid. So, while I face fear daily, I no longer hide under a desk. Instead, I embrace my fear for I know the only way out is through—just like Dr. Dan says!

Her Inspiration:

Darla enjoys seeing her friends every day and meeting new clients each week. She likes to make people smile by wagging her tail in greeting. Darla loves going for walks with clients and showing them all the great smelling places outside. Darla is especially inspired when she receives treats for good and courageous behavior.