FAQ

Can I do my dogless visits (visit without my dog) before I take my test?
When can I bring my dog to volunteer?
When will I get my badge?
Must I wear my badge at all RWR events?
What do I do with my log sheet once it’s complete?
Where can I volunteer?
Can I go anywhere with my dog to volunteer?
I’m supposed to go to a reading event but now I can’t? What do I do?
How do my dog and I become a Reading with Rover team?
Will my badge ever expire?
Why do we have to re-test?
Do I have to keep logging my time?
How do I get a RWR vest?
With whom should I speak if I saw something inappropriate or if I am concerned about a RWR dog’s behavior?
I want to report something but it involves the lead team?
Should I report myself?
What fecal testing is required?
What vaccines are required?
My dog threw up today, can I visit?
How old can my dog be and still be a therapy dog?
Can my cat be a part of RWR?
I would like to start a RWR program at a school. How do I do that?
Must I bathe my dog before each visit?
What is the dress code?
What is business casual?
I have a vest and shirt. Can I get a RWR logo put on it?
Can my dog dress up in a costume?
Can I visit with both my dogs at once?
I tested my dog on a collar but now I use a harness. Can I have my dog on the harness during a visit?
I’m running late. Should I still visit?
I am certified through another pet therapy organization. Can I participate in Reading With Rover events?
I am a new team. What do I need to bring with me for a visit besides my dog?
Where do I get Reading with Rover supplies like a back pack?


Can I do my dogless visits (visit without my dog) before I take my test?
A:
Yes! We encourage you to print the log sheet and do your dogless visits. See the events on the website and email the contact that you are coming to observe.

When can I bring my dog to volunteer?
A:
You and your dog may come once you pass your Reading with Rover D.R.E.A.M test and receive your 6-month letter. The 6-month letter is a temporary pass which will be replaced by your badge once it is created. You do need to have your dogless visits first prior to bringing your dog.

When will I get my badge?
A:
You will receive your badge after you meet the Reading With Rover protocol and turn in your visitation log sheet.

Must I wear my badge at all RWR events?
A:
Yes. You are required to wear your badge in plain view at all Reading With Rover events.

What do I do with my log sheet once it’s complete?
A:
Mail your log sheet to PO Box 2569 Woodinville, WA 98072 or email your log sheet to info@readingwithrover.org. Also send us a photo of you with your dog so we can order your badge.

Where can I volunteer?
A: We have recurring locations listed on our events page on the RWR website. If you would like to attend one of these events, you need to email the contact person and let them know you would like to come. You will also receive email notices of one-time events or special requests with information regarding a need for volunteers and dogs. Some venues are not open to new teams so please read the description of that event before volunteering to come. We often have one time events so watch for notices. 

We have our RWR program in many schools. We do not post them on our website because the school visits are confidential. If you want to visit a school, email info@readingwithrover.org and we will let you know what schools we have set up and we can arrange a visit. You must shadow first without your dog and after that you will be able to start your visits. Your first visit will be shadowed by a seasoned team member. 

Hospitals: We are not a part of most of the hospitals in the Seattle area that have therapy dog programs such as Children’s Hospital in Seattle. We have our visiting dogs in many hospitals, please email us if you would like to be a visiting team at a hospital and we will help you get started. 

Can I go anywhere with my dog to volunteer?

A:  We volunteer in the communities we serve and we are not limited to visits with children. We are now recognized at most hospitals that have visiting therapy dog programs. There are some more complex areas that require teams to have more experience and some facilities require teams to be A.R.T. (Advanced Response Team) certified, which is a higher level team. A.R.T. is a part of the Reading With Rover program. Some venues, such as some hospitals, require additional training or additional protocols to be met prior to allowing visitation. 

Email info@readingwithrover.org for details.

I’m supposed to go to a reading event but now I can’t? What do I do?
A: Please email your contact for that event.  You may also call the venue contact person as soon as you know you are unable to attend.

How do my dog and I become a Reading with Rover team?

A: We allow dogs registered with the Pet Partners organization to participate in Reading With Rover events as long as they register with Reading With Rover, pay the membership fee, and meet the protocol of supervised visits (http://www.readingwithrover.org/volunteer/d-r-e-a-m-team/) If you are not registered with Reading With Rover and/or have not met the protocol, you cannot participate with Reading with Rover. If you are a crisis dog team, registered with H.O.P.E please email us as you may qualify as well to register with us. If you have any questions please contact us at info@readingwithrover.org or 425.482.1057

Will my badge ever expire?
A:
Yes. Your badge has an expiration date and is good for two years from your testing date. You do need to re-test and fill out renewal forms and pay renewal membership fees to renew your badge. You may renew up to 60 days prior to your badge expiration date. We do not offer extensions on expired badges.

Why do we have to re-test?
A:
Dogs need to be trained in good manners and basic skills to participate in our programs. For us to maintain the integrity of the program, we need to see that the dog still has the skills and manners to participate. It’s easy to get complacent and think your dog is trained because you volunteer regularly. It’s important that you maintain your dog’s training and that they do what you ask of them rather than ignore you. Testing assures our organization that teams still have the minimum skills to participate.

Do I have to keep logging my time?
A:
We hope you do! There are several reasons to maintain a log sheet. If you present to us that you have volunteered at least 30 hours in the last 2 years, your renewal membership fee will be discounted. Also, as an organization we appreciate the log sheets which track volunteer hours and help us when we apply for funding and grants from foundations.

How do I get a RWR vest?
A:
The vests currently cost $45.00.  You can email info@readingwithrover.org to arrange the fitting of your vest. Bandanas are free when available.

With whom should I speak if I saw something inappropriate or if I am concerned about a RWR dog’s behavior?
A:
Each facility or event has a “lead” team. If you witnessed something inappropriate, please report it in person or in email to your lead. From there, the lead will determine if this is something that can be handled on site. Usually these things just require a conversation. If it is a more serious incident, your lead will send an incident report to the RWR incident committee. All incident reports are confidential. Once an incident report arrives, there will be a thorough investigation by the RWR Incident Committee. Most of our investigations have positive results with support for the team that may have some issues. If the issue is aggression, the team or dog may be dismissed from RWR based on the findings.

I want to report something but it involves the lead team?
A:
If for any reason you are not comfortable reporting to your venue lead, you may email becky@readingwithrover.org directly and from there the issue will be handled.

Should I report myself?
A:
Trust is important. If your dog had an issue or your dog acted out, you must report to your venue lead or email becky@readingwithrover.org directly. If you do not self-report and a report is generated from someone who witnessed an issue, it can create a bigger problem. Most often, self-reporting to your venue lead is best. Here is an example: You and your small dog come into a room and get seated on the floor. Your dog is startled the giant breed dog that just came around the corner and reactively barks. Clearly you know your dog was startled but you don’t want a repeat of this behavior. You need to go directly to your venue lead and report what just happened. Your lead gives you good advice and some helpful tips on how to redirect your dog so she does not repeat the reactive behavior. Your lead team is there to help you and your dog. Most often a formal report is not necessary if it’s an issue that can be dealt with right there with the support of your team mates.

What fecal testing is required?
A:
We require a clear fecal test result within 2 months of testing. We do not require you to turn in a new fecal test every year but we do require you to have your dog tested at least once a year (every 6 months is better). Even if your dog is on a parasite control program is important to do a fecal check. Parasite pills are not 100% guaranteed to eliminate all parasites. Giardia is not included in most standard fecal tests so a Giardia-specific test is required as well. You are required to report a positive fecal or giardia test to Reading With Rover and to sit out of visits until your dog has a clear fecal and giardia test. Often our visits involve fragile populations such as the elderly, ill or young. It is your job to make every effort to prevent the spread of parasites.

What vaccines are required?
A:
Dogs must be up to date on vaccinations as per your veterinarian’s recommendations or have a currently clear titer test. All dogs are required to be current on their rabies vaccinations as required by Washington State law. Titer test results are not sufficient for the rabies vaccine.

My dog threw up today, can I visit?
A:
If your dog has presented any symptoms that indicate they are not well, you must not visit. Your dog must have 48 hours of wellness immediately prior to any visit if they had any recent episodes or signs of not feeling well. Example: throwing up, diarrhea, coughing, sneezing or eye infection.

How old can my dog be and still be a therapy dog?
A:
There is no maximum age limit on dogs to participate. The minimum age is one year old to take the RWR test. We love senior dogs and as long as they are healthy and willing, they may continue to be part of our program. You are your dog’s best advocate and the best judge regarding when your dog’s retirement should occur.

Can my cat be a part of RWR?
A:
No. Only dogs can be certified with Reading With Rover and participate at Reading With Rover events.

I would like to start a RWR program at a school. How do I do that?
A:
We are happy to set up schools. It is a rather lengthy process and can take up to a year to get a “program” going. A program would be regular weekly visits with 3 or more teams. Sometimes, programs start one dog at a time and the process is still the same. We need to talk to the principle, tour the school, and have permission slips from all children that may be reading with your dog. We need to identify who will be the “venue lead” for that school and determine the best day or days of the week for visits. There is a lot that goes into setting up a school and it’s all worth it. Please email info@readingwithrover.org if you want to start a program at a school. We currently have schools that have the RWR program and we need teams at those schools as well. We are happy to set you up at a school that has the RWR program and help you get the experience you need to run your own program.

Must I bathe my dog before each visit?
A:
Dogs must be clean, nails short and smooth, coat free of mats and excessive shedding, ears and teeth clean and well-maintained. While we advise you to bathe your dog regularly, we do not require that they be bathed before every visit. For some dogs that visit multiple times a week, bathing before each visit would be detrimental to their skin health. However, if you are visiting a location that has a more stringent grooming policy (such as a hospital), you are required to follow their rules in order to visit at their facility.

What is the dress code?
A:
Our dress code is fairly casual. You will most likely be sitting on the floor with your dog, so you need to be comfortable. Your clothes must be clean, t-shirts with messages or logos should be child appropriate, and if you are wearing shorts the hem of the shorts must be closer to your knees then your hips. Crop pants are fine as well. Sandals are okay as long as they have a back strap. No flip flops allowed. We expect you to use your best judgement. If you are going to be at an event representing RWR and standing at a table handing out information, we would like you to have business casual attire.

What is business casual?
A:
Business casual is relating to or denoting a style of clothing that is less formal than traditional business wear, but is still intended to give a professional and businesslike impression. Wearing your logo vest over a tee shirt is fine with slacks or cropped pants.

I have a vest and shirt. Can I get a RWR logo put on it?
A:
Cloth Tattoo in Woodinville is our logo embroiderer. Any vest or shirt must have approval and fall within the colors of our branding of black, maroon, (dark cranberry) or egg shell. Dave, the owner of cloth tattoo, can embroider just about anything, including hats. We simply ask that you email info@readingwithrover.org prior to dropping of or sending in any clothing to Cloth Tattoo so we can approve.

Can my dog dress up in a costume?
A:
If it’s a special event where dressing your dog would be appropriate, such as a Halloween event, and your dog is not stressed by wearing a costume, you may dress up your dog. We prefer you not dress your dogs up for regular visits and that you let them visit being who they are: sweet, wonderful dogs. Please email us if you have questions info@readingwithrover.org.

Can I visit with both my dogs at once?
A:
No. You may only visit with one dog at a time. Our rule is one registered dog per registered handler at a time.

I tested my dog on a collar but now I use a harness. Can I have my dog on the harness during a visit?
A:
No. You must use the same equipment on your dog at visits as that with which you tested. If you wish to visit with your dog on a harness, you must arrange to be retested on that piece of equipment.

I’m running late. Should I still visit?
A:
Teams that arrive after the event start time must check in without their dog and follow the instructions of the venue lead on how to proceed. The venue lead may choose to allow the team to participate, direct them on how/where/when to participate, or excuse them from the read if their entrance would cause disruption.

I am registered through another pet therapy organization. Can I participate in Reading With Rover events?
A: Currently we accept dogs that are registered through the Pet Partners organization as long as they have completed our Reading with Rover Protocol. We welcome Pet Partners! (http://www.readingwithrover.org/volunteer/d-r-e-a-m-team/).If you are not registered through Reading With Rover, and are new and want to become a part of our team please email us. info@readingwtihrover.org  You and your dog cannot participate in Reading With Rover events or therapy sessions until you have met our protocol.  We do not accept certifications from other therapy organizations at this time. We are willing to talk talk to you if you are a current therapy dog team with HOPE Crisis Response and would love to have you on our team as well!

I am a new team. What do I need to bring with me for a visit besides my dog?
A:
You should have a carry bag that includes a folder that has your log sheet and your six month letter. If you are attending a read with children, requiring you to sit on the floor you need your blanket for your dog to lay on, your badge and your clean up supplies as well as a portable water bowl. If this is a visit that does not require your dog to lay on the floor for a “read” you need your badge and your clean up supplies and water bowl. In order to minimize how much you have in your hands it’s best to have all of this in a Reading with Rover bag.

Where do I get Reading with Rover supplies like a back pack?
A:
We have promotional bags that are free and for a minimal donation we have back packs and other Reading with Rover items. Please email info@readigwithrover.org if you are interested in our branding material. Therapy dog leashes are available for purchase at the Puppy Manners facility. Please email us if you would like to get one.

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