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Interview with Christiane Vidacovich from Streichelbande
With part of the money from our supporters we want to support an animal rights organization. The association "Streichelbande" is one of three organizations that can be chosen from our supporters to be sponsored by us. Here you can get an idea of "Streichelbande".
We visited and interviewed Christiane Vidacovich from Streichelbande in Munich.
CARMELO: "Hello Mrs. Vidacovich! Thank you that we can conduct an interview with you. Can you briefly describe what the Streichelbande exactly does?"
CHRISTIANE: "Hello. I am also happy about the interview. The Streichelbande is a non-profit organization. Now we got 180 members, almost all have a dog that is loved by them. These people go with their dogs, within our organization, in nursing homes, visiting people with disabilities, schools and kindergartens. This does the Streichelbande with great success. In 2005, we established ourselves and exist now for eight years."
CARMELO: "How does an ordinary day of a Streichelbande staff looks like?”
CHRISTIANE: "Some of the volunteers have a “normal” job. We got also a number of people who are already retired. The visits are usually once a week, every two weeks or once a month. Our people then visit with their dogs different institutions. The visits take up much time. You have to go there, the dog needs a little preparation and you will remain there at least an hour. A visit takes about three to four hours."
CARMELO: "Why can dogs in some cases help people better than humans?"
CHRISTIANE: "Dogs are well ahead of us. They are just completely unbiased. They do not expect that the person to which they go has a certain education or a certain appearance. They take the people as they are. They are quite friendly, lovable and like to be petted."
CARMELO: "Is there any special training for the dogs to be used as a visiting dog?"
CHRISTIANE: "Yes there is. We make an aptitude test in advance. It takes about two to three hours. There are several things that we check: If the dog has aggression, how the owner communicates with him or how he deals with conspecifics. This test is also to observe for what the dog is particularly suitable. Should he rather go to children or to old people. Should he perform the visits alone or in a group. There is not really a specific training, but we make courses. Courses with veterinarians and dog trainers. Furthermore, we also make dog dancing, but we do not have a direct training."
CARMELO: "Is any dog breed suitable to be used as a visiting dog?"
CHRISTIANE: "Actually, yes. We have around 150 dogs along our 180 members. Almost all races are represented. We also have a listed dog, a Rottweiler. Ultimately, it depends on the training of the dogs and the relationship to man. If they are well accommodated and loved, they also have a good relationship with the people. "
Video: Interview with Streichelbande
CARMELO: "At my elementary school, towards the end of the eighties, there were no visiting dogs or pets that have been used in schools. Nowadays there are more and more so-called school dogs to relieve anxiety and to sensitize dealing with dogs / animals. Would you say that a trend is noted that dogs are increasingly being used for this? "
CHRISTIANE: "Yes, there's absolutely a trend. There are already many teachers who take their dogs to school. There are also reading dogs. These are not reading, but they sit with the students and radiate tranquility and maybe falling asleep. They give a good feeling to the students."
CARMELO: "What significant moments have you experienced in your volunteering within the Streichelbande?"
CHRISTIANE: "There are many significant moments. A significant has happened only two days ago. We were two weeks ago at a Montessori school with our dogs. There was a girl there, who asked her parents if she could make a dog birthday party. We have been there with a couple of our dogs two days ago. She has invited eight friends and we had fun together. The girl had such a great joy that I can say this was a special moment. Of course, besides many other special moments, like for example visiting old people, that can pet the dog and feel loved and therefore don´t feel lonely."
CARMELO: "Is there anything else that you would like to tell people out there?"
CHRISTIANE: "Yes. That the people see our animals and especially our dogs as creatures. That they do not think dogs are worth less than humans, but they treat them well and let they live according to their nature. And appreciate what they do for us."
CARMELO: "Why should our supporters support the Streichelbande?"
CHRISTIANE: "Because the people of the Streichelbande are very nice people and do a lot for the animals and for other people who need our help and want to be loved. Therefore, the Streichelbande should be supported. "
CARMELO: "Thank you for the interesting interview, Mrs. Vidacovich."