The Pet Project

Hi, I’m Neo.

I’m a certified therapy dog and I work with my good friends at reachAbility.

Hi, I’m Neo.

I’m studying to be a certified therapy dog for my friends at reachAbility.

Dogs reduce stress, anxiety and depression, ease loneliness, encourage exercise, and improve humans’ overall health?

I had no idea! (I’m a dog, I can’t read, but Amanda tells me some of you science humans have lots of proof to back this up.)

When I see people who are sad, hurt, or alone, I can’t help but try to make them feel better! It usually works too. You’d be surprised how far a nuzzle and some big eyes will go to improve a human’s mood!

I really like working at reachAbility with my humans. They love to help people in need, and so do I!

It’s about time I had my own show.

My mom and dad could tell early on that I was extra gentle with humans, so they put me in training to be a therapy dog for humans in need! They got me my own training assistant to help me, my friend Amanda.

Amanda’s a pretty smart human. She took one look at my beautiful face and knew it was made for TV. Now we have our own show all about my training classes!

Amanda is also here. (But I’m still the star.)

This is Amanda, my human assistant. She tells me she’s working with a bunch of other nice humans at something called Companion Paws Canada, and together they’re teaching me all kinds of lessons about how to be the best therapy dog I can be. (I’m gonna be the best, you guys. I’m SUCH a good dog!)

Amanda has a whole business training other dogs. It’s called No Hassle Dog Training. I can’t click a mouse very well with my big paws, but if you can, click here to learn more about Amanda’s training company.

Now that the Companion Paws humans have certified me, I get to spend lots of time at reachAbility’s offices welcoming people and spending time with them when they need comfort and support.

Frequently Barked Questions

You're beautiful! What kind of dog are you?

First of all, thank you! You’re right, and you have great taste.
I’m a Newfoundland-Poodle mix, or a “Newfie-Poo”. I’m hypoallergenic, which the humans tell me means I don’t make them sneeze. I’m one and a half years old, and even though I’m a pretty big girl already, I promise I’m very gentle.

Do the people at reachAbility love you as much as I already do?

They sure do! How could they not, right?
Amanda started training me a couple days a week last year as a trial, and the human staff and clients at reachAbility were all really nice and happy to have me around.

Should I have a dog in my office?

Obviously. Humans should have dogs everywhere they can!
If I can be serious for a minute (it’s hard but I’ll try), more humans need therapy dogs around than ever before. Amanda says that NGOs like reachAbility have seen a 30% increase in mental health issues reported by their clients and staff. It’s a hard time for humans these days, and a fluffy, friendly face in the workplace definitely helps.

Can you help my NGO train and introduce a therapy dog?

With the help of my trusty human assistant I can!
Amanda is taking all the lessons she learns from working with me and the Companion Paws humans to create a Pet Project Toolkit for NGOs. She says this will include a workplace suitability assessment, activities and resources, and a training program specifically designed for therapy dogs in an NGO workplace setting. It all sounds very impressive!

Can I send you questions and fan mail?

I would never deny my adoring public the chance to send me more love!
You can write to me at neo@reachability.org.

You can send questions for Amanda to me too, I’ll make sure she gets them. ( I make no guarantees if you decide try sending Amanda fan mail. I’m the star here!)

I need to see more of you! When does your training show air?

I don’t blame you! Some dogs were made for TV. We’ll be airing new episodes in the summer of 2023, so stay tuned to reachAbility’s YouTube channel at youtube.com/reachabilityassociation!

Neo kicked off National AccessAbility Week 2023 with her trainer, Amanda, and her good friend Destiny from reachAbility! Click on the image below to check out her first news appearance!

Neo, reachAbility's fluffy therapy dog, appears on Global News with her trainer, Amanda, and her reachAbility friend, Destiny.

Neo in the Classroom

Neo, a fluffy brown Newfiepoo dog, meets with students in a classroom at NSCC, accompanied by her trainer Amanda.
Neo and Amanda meeting with students from the Nova Scotia Community College’s Achieve Program

We received a wonderful email recently from a teacher who is using the Pet Project to teach her students about therapy dogs! One of her students found this page of very useful information on therapy dogs in the United States. While the certification process is different than in Canada, the benefits to health and wellbeing listed here are exactly what we see when Neo works with our clients.

All of us at reachAbility were so pleased to hear that students are learning about Neo and dogs like her and the important mental health assistance they can offer. If you’re a teacher using the Pet Project as a classroom resource, we’d love to hear from you, and so would Neo! You can write to her (and us) at neo@reachability.org.