StepStone and Dr. Johnson’s therapy dog, Ziggi, work together to provide a sense of comfort and support to clients of all ages during the evaluation process. 

ziggi Ziggi is a three-year-old, hypoallergenic, 25 lb. miniature Australian Cobberdog who was bred to become a therapy dog. Below is a note from her breeder, JAE Cobberdogs, regarding her specialized breeding: "Many JAE Australian Cobberdogs are in service and therapy roles across the US and overseaseveral of our dogs are registered therapy dogs that regularly visit nursing homes, schools, and hospitals to bring comfort and support to those in need. Several of our puppies have gone on to do therapy work, work with families and children with special needs, become service dogs, or medical alert dogs."

Ziggi has partnered with Dr. Johnson since her arrival in 2021. As the parent of one client shared during an evaluation, “My child was instantly “at home” with Ziggi, and therefore able to relax and focus on the testing.” Another parent explained, “Ziggi is an additional source of co-regulation during the evaluation process, which allows children and adolescents to perform to their full potential.”

  Benefits of Canine Assisted Therapy (excerpt from the Professional Therapy Dogs of Colorado)

⦁ Animals help improve motivation and engagement in the therapeutic process

⦁ Animals help build trust and provide a sense of security

⦁ Animals offer unconditional acceptance

⦁ Animals help to calm clients 

⦁ Animals can be a source of social and emotional attachment

⦁ Animals can be instruments of learning

⦁ Animals offer humor and fun in sessions

Ziggi has earned her Good Citizenship Certificate for Canines.  She also earned her credential as a Certified Therapy Dog  from the Professional Therapy Dogs of Colorado.  

Appropriate Match with Client: During the online intake session, Dr. Johnson will discuss if partnering with Ziggi will be appropriate and beneficial to the client experience. Ziggi will not be present if it is determined it is not in the best interest of the client (i.e. the child will be too distracted, fear of dogs etc…).

Ziggi at "Work"

Flowers in Chania
Flowers in Chania
One of Ziggi’s favorite things to do is to come to work, because she gets to help so many great kids!
Most kids ask about Ziggi the first thing whenever they come to the office...Ziggi just seems to make special friends with each person she meets. And she especially loves it when kids get to read to her!
If parents are in our private waiting room during breaks, Ziggi is usually the first one to greet them and jump on the couch with them to say hello!
Flowers in Chania
(Photos used with parent permission)
Ziggi at Work

As part of Ziggi’s therapy dog certification, she wrote a book to help children complete their everyday tasks.

Ziggi's Scrapbook


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