Blond-colored Goldendoodle dog wearing a therapy dog vestMeet our newest employee, Zeke! A 3-year-old Goldendoodle, he is a certified therapy dog from the Southern Wisconsin Canine Therapy Dog Association, a nonprofit association that provides care and comfort to those in need by using canine companions.

Zeke and his owner/certified handler, Nancy Bandsma, will visit the library a few times each month to give patrons a chance to work with patrons (a.k.a. cheer people up by letting them pet him).

As a certified therapy dog, Zeke’s purpose in life is simple: to bring joy and comfort to others. That means petting is encouraged! As with all animals, ask first before you pet. (Please note that therapy dogs are different from other service dogs whose work is to ensure the safety of their disabled handlers. Please do not approach other service dogs, as those animals should not be distracted from their work.)

Zeke trained extensively under a former K9 officer from the Madison Police Department. In addition to completing puppy class, basic obedience class, good citizenship class, and environmental training, he also completed therapy dog classes.

He received his therapy dog certification in February 2020 just before the world went into Covid lockdown, so he has only recently begun to get out and serve the community. So far, he has visited various locations including nursing homes, church, Stoughton Hospital, a movie theater, a battered women’s shelter, retail stores, a juvenile detention center, and, now, Beloit Public Library.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook to find out when Zeke will be in the building looking for attention.

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