Pastoral Pup Ministry
Follow Frances on Instagram: @francesstmarks
READ THE ARTICLE about Frances on the front page of the New Canaan Advertiser!
The Latest on Frances, our Pastoral Pup
Frances, our year-old pastoral pup, is happily at home at St. Mark’s and working hard to prepare for her American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen designation, a step towards official therapy dog registration. Once registered, she will be approved to make visits to hospitals and hospice, residential care facilities, schools and community events. In the meantime, she is a regular presence at St. Mark's and the Church Office where she has assumed the role of official greeter!
Each morning, Frances “comes to work” as a member of the parish staff. She has a vigorous outdoor workout (rain, snow, or shine), and a weekly training session with a professional therapy dog trainer. Having mastered basic obedience commands, she is working on more advanced skills such as accepting friendly strangers, walking through a crowd, behaving politely around other dogs, reacting appropriately to distractions, and working around wheelchairs and walkers. All of these skills are practiced on a daily basis. She also visits St. Mark’s Preschool each week and stops by the New Canaan Food Pantry to greet clients.
As an important part of her socialization, “puppy time” is factored into Frances’ week. She enjoys playdates with a variety of other pups, including a parishioner’s Bouvier des Flandres, and the hospitality of another parishioner’s large fenced yard. At the end of the day, Frances returns to her host family, Michelle and Dan Ernst, Madeleine and Graham. Pet Pantry, Dr. Daniel Hochman of Grove Street Veterinary, and Walden Local Meats have teamed with us to provide supplies at a discount and free veterinary services.
If you would like to visit Frances, please call the Church Office (203.966.4515) to set a time. She’s a very busy pup!