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Dolly, community volunteer, book contributor

Dolly, award winning therapy dog, obituaryDolly, an award-winning therapy dog, died Sept. 23. She was nine years old.

Dolly, who had cancer, worked with Cynthia Chandler, professor of counseling and higher education, and founder of the Center for Animal Assisted Therapy.

Dolly was an American Cocker Spaniel who was born near Lubbock in 2002. She joined the Chandler family in Denton when she was 7 weeks old.

Dolly volunteered with Chandler to provide individual and group counseling services at the Denton County Juvenile Detention Center. She was trained to be around horses, so Dolly also accompanied Chandler and juveniles to Rocky Top Therapy Ranch in Keller to participate in equine assisted counseling sessions. She served as a role model to troubled teens who might at first be afraid of the horses but found comfort in Dolly's confidence and calm demeanor at the center.

In 2005, Dolly and Chandler served displaced survivors of Hurricane Katrina at two Dallas shelters. Dolly provided comfort and nurturance to hundreds of children and adults traumatized by the disaster.

For 7 1/2 years Dolly assisted Chandler in teaching graduate students how to provide animal assisted counseling by demonstrating her skills in the classroom. In 2006, Dolly, Chandler and Dolly's older brother Rusty, who at age 12 is a recently retired therapy dog, won the prestigious Delta Society Beyond Limits Award for Instructor and Evaluator.

Dolly's therapy work is featured in Chandler's Animal Assisted Therapy in Counseling, first published in 2005 and in second edition, in 2011.

Dolly was much loved and is greatly missed.  – Cynthia Chandler, director, Center for Animal Assisted Therapy

Posted on: Mon 05 December 2011

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