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Rescued dog trains to become therapy dog

Toffee is working her way through the Therapy Partners training school so that she can become a therapy dog herself.

Posted: Dec 14, 2018 6:30 PM
Updated: Dec 16, 2018 9:49 PM

A big milestone tonight for Huntsville's most famous dog. Toffee captured the nation's attention back in the summer. The deaf and partially blind puppy was trapped in a crevice for 31 hours. She's been growing up out of the spotlight. Her new parents gave WAAY 31 a progress report.

The last time you saw Toffee she was just a little pup but now she's all grown up and working her way through the Therapy Partners training school so that she can become a therapy dog herself.

"She graduates from her first phase of therapy dog training, therapy partners training, and then she'll have several more phases to get through before she can qualify to be a therapy dog," said her owner Richard Breitbach.

Toffee was just seven weeks old when she captured hearts across the country. The Australian Sheppard mix is deaf and partially blind but her parents said that doesn't keep her from learning like any other dog.

"The last thing you need to do is feel sorry for her. She just needed a very structured disciplined environment where people treat her like a regular dog."

The company training Toffee also serves Huntsville City Schools. The organization said they take dogs to a few schools where select second grade students get to read to them. They said this is likely what toffee will do if she passes her classes.

"I think her ability to motivate other young kids especially kids who have some type of a challenge will be a nice thing for her to do," said Breitbach.

Toffee's parents said they want her to be a therapy dog so she can help others the way so many people helped her back in June.

"The community really took care of toffee. They've stepped up and were there for toffee now I think toffee, it's going to be really interesting to see how she can give back to the community."

Toffee's family said they hope to be able to take her to a blind and deaf school where she can hopefully inspire children who are like her. 

Therapy Partners where toffee is training also provides services to Huntsville Hospital and hospice care. Just this week they presented to Madison City Schools to possibly partner with them in the future.

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