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With Dogs Not Just for a Smile: Stories About Dog Therapy

With Dogs Not Just for a Smile: Stories About Dog Therapy

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With Dogs Not Just for a Smile: Stories About Dog Therapy

181 pages
1 hour
Feb 1, 2018


We would like to recommed this book  to whoever wishes to look into these helping dog’s wonderful world to every educator, who would like to learn new methods that would make each lesson memorable to every needs educator, who would love to have a four-legged motivational partner, who could make the lessons more successful. To every doctor, psychologist and medical practitioner, who believes that you have to heal the body with your soul.

We recommend it to everyone, who loves dogs, but those who are afriad of them too.

Feb 1, 2018

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With Dogs Not Just for a Smile - Ágota Juharos


In memory of Terezia Szerencses Radicsne, a special education teacher

Copyright © For A Smile Foundation

All Rights Reserved!

AUTHOR: Ágota Juharos

Reviewed and Edited by: Máte Papp

COVER and Text Design: Judit Török

LAYOUT: Hunor Beliczai, Judit Török

Special thanks for our photographers: György Hamar, Péter Lestár and Tamás Szilágyi.

ISBN 978-615-00-1211-7



It has been said that Dogs are humans too – and this is definitely true.

However, in this volume that you are reading now, we will talk about dogs that are worth much more than some fallible humans. Our four legged therapy friends not only have unconditional loyalty, but trust, endless love and active healing powers. They offer comfort and educate those two-legged ones with patients who become vulnerable for some reason or more.

The dog is a four legged, flair nosed, tail wagging love affair for us humans who are worthy of it.

Therapy dogs are much more than this – they represent eternal hope.

Gyula Böszörményi,

Attila József Award winning writer.

About us

There are no coincidences. There was a period in our life when we used to flick between the TV channels and it was always about the fantastic relationship of humans and dogs. Guide dogs, service dogs, switch lights on and off dogs, dogs opening doors, carrying baskets, dogs that respond to epileptic seizures or abnormality of diabetes, cancer sniffing dogs... and therapy dogs. I thought that we should try this amazing thing and it would be interesting to work with, as many children and adults could benefit from this with our presence. We consulted our familes and decided to give it a go with our own two well trained dogs. After our research and enquires, I started to prepare with my goddaughter Reka Juharos, my youngest son Csabi Lestar with our dogs Moczy and Bombi. On the 9th of May 2011, we went to Debrecen to pass our therapy exam. By then, we went through several serious exams in the past through our university degrees, but at this time it was different, as we had to pass with our four-legged partners. We were worried sick throughtout the tasks, yet by the end of the day we all became therapy dog masters, and Bombi and Moczy became therapy dogs.

A couple of months after the successful exam in a couple of months we went to Szekesfehervar and attended the Dog Therapy, as a special educational method national congress. By listening to many experienced dog trainers and organizations with years of knowledge, we were convinced that this job is just as tough as wonderful, because we could give many people what they need. But what we get back is much more than that in return of love and loyalty. In our hometown Kecskemet, there was no existing dog therapy organization. Therefore, with our cute little license in our pockets and bubbling with enthusiasm, we made ourselves known to the Principals of the Special Education Institution in Juhar Street and Nyiri Street. We were so lucky, as both principals were dog owners, therefore they immediately welcomed the opportunity offered by us.

With Terezia Szerencses Radicsne from Kiskoros, who was the former head of institute in Juhar St., we were on common grounds immediately. Terike as everyone calls her, welcomed us with open arms, because she had been looking for opportunities to try innovative methods such as dog therapy.

Solid plans were made immediately about when, where and who to begin this jouirney with. She appointed two fresh special education teachers who introduced Bombi and Moczy to orphanages, children with speech therapy and autistic school children. Soon after we started our work with children and teachers, we realised that this is what we want to do. Many others were interested and wanted to join our team – and this was not a coincidence. Meanwhile, we established the With Dogs…For a Smile Foundation and since then we continuously try to organise and create the working conditions for long-term therapy jobs for many dog handlers. This is to ensure that unusual but effective therapy methods will be accessible for many children and adults in the future.

Terezia Szerencses Radicsne, or as everyone called her Terike, regularly visited our lessons and followed our work with great enthusiasm. She wanted to see the outcomes with her own eyes. She requested a report about the initial observations at the National Special Education Congress in Kiskoros that she instigated herself. From Her suggestion, we named our presentation With Dogs...For a Smile. She was very proud about the developing dog therapy that was offered to children with disabilities in Kecskemet and later in Kiskoros, which was achieved with her help and support. Terike participated in our teacher training called Dog as a Teacher Aid in April 2015 with her usual extraordinary enthusiasm and joy. In those days, we talked a lot about how much she loves doing her work and we discussed that she should write a book about the experiences. We exchanged letters and she asked me if I could put together a short video that she could take to presentations about animal assisted therapies. Unfortunately, this is when life was suddenly interrupted and Terike passed away quickly and unexpectedly. But this was a Terike kind of way, as she was talking about her beloved profession at the time.

After the initial shock and not comprehending with what really happened so suddenly, we finally understood her message. Her message meant that we must carry on and continue the work that we started together. To honour her memory, we decided to write this book that she had planned herself, even though it may not have been the way Terike could have done it. It is a fun and easy narrative book to read with many examples and stories that provides useful ideas to dog enthusiasts and professionals who are interested in dog therapy. Terike gave a boost to our foundation with those two years in Juhar Street and our institution in Kiskoros were paramount milestones in our history.

dr. Ágota Juharos

With Dogs For A Smile Foundation’s Secretary

Chapter 2

With dogs not just for a smile

On one occasion, Agota visited a class in a kindergarten with Bömbi – who was already a therapy dog by then – and an enthusiastic little girl kept asking questions about the dog. She began like: Aunty Bömbi! I would like to ask that….. And she was right. Mostly the owner and their dogs mirror each other, as dogs have developed their loyalty towards their two-legged pack leader who has established his/her rhythm of life and custom systems in the thousands of years they have been living alongside humans.

Dogs are particularly suitable for therapeutic purposes, as they are extremely adaptive, socialize easily, can easily carry out tasks and enjoy learning. Additionally, they have great non-verbal communication skills and are able to keep eye contact. During therapy, skill development, psychological skills (sensation, perception, thinking, attention, concentration) and facilitating a so-called motor functions (motor coordination, balance and rhythm) have major significance. The different normative behaviour forms influenced in a positive way is just as critical as to improve the quality of life is an important element. Age appropriate discipline, perseverance, sense of responsibility and motivation are the biggest advantages of dog therapy. Not to mention the wide range of motivational strengths is based on the animal’s playfulness. Therefore, the dog is a social stimulus also, as they facilitate contact between partners. (In one way, the common experience

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