She’s the star of the Radius Unconditional Furry Friend (RUFF) Program. Lexus is a 4-year-old black Labrador. Lexus began her journey at Radius in July of 2021 with an intensive training program provided by the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides, culminating with her graduation on July 16th. Her training continued throughout the summer and last fall Lexus began her in-office work at Radius.
What is the RUFF Program?
It’s a new and different way to offer support to our clients on their healing journey and to our staff in their difficult work, through pets, cuddles, smiles and, most importantly, unconditional and non-judgemental connection. When not at work, Lexus resides at home with her Primary Handler. It takes a special dog to be a Facility Support Dog, which requires specialized handling from trained handlers. To support her Primary Handler, Lexus’ care is shared by various members of the staff team.
Developing the RUFF Program
While developing the RUFF Program, it was important to consider the policies required to ensure the integrity of the program was upheld, Lexus would be well cared for, and that any unique health and safety concerns would be addressed. We owe much gratitude to our community partner, BOOST Child and Youth Advocacy Centre, who lent us a helping hand as they have successfully integrated three Facility Support Dogs into their agency’s work.
Lexus at Work!
Our clients, supporters, and staff have been so welcoming and Lexus has made a great start in her work at Radius. Her companionship alongside our clients who need her has made a significant contribution in their journey to heal. But it’s not all work for Lexus! In her free time, she likes to spend time outside and as much time as possible in the water! Lexus is truly living her best life while doing important work! Way to go Lexus! We are so happy to have you as part of the Radius team!
You can follow Lexus on her journey at Radius on Instagram at: @ruff_lexus.
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