New therapy dog at Child & Family Center has one job: to be loved
Jordyn, a 7 year-old black lab sits outside the Child & Family Center in Santa Clarita where she is the newest team member. Cory Rubin/The Signal
By Crystal Duan
Thursday, November 29th, 2018

Jordyn, an endearing 7-year-old black Labrador retriever, is the latest “staff member” at the Child and Family Center this fall.

The therapy dog’s “job” is to walk around the center on breaks, licking the children and interacting with them enough to bring a smile to their faces.

“Everybody loves her,” said her owner Kimberly Hirano. “We were a package deal, and the center staff were gracious enough to allow her to also provide services.”

Hirano is the division director of access and specialty programs at the center. When she was hired in October, she asked if Jordyn could also come.

Jordyn is a former guide dog who dropped out of guide dog school due to allergies, but instead became a trained therapy dog five years ago.

Her certification process entailed testing her temperament and patience with people. Now she is popular with children because she can tolerate having her tail and ears pulled, but is also a great morale booster for the staff, said Cheryl Jones, the center’s vice president of marketing and community outreach.

“She’s been doing this for a while, so she expects to be noticed,” Hirano said, as Jordyn walked up to children and parents around the center, prompting them to pet her with her paw. “Her job there is to be loved. If you walk by her and ignore her, she’ll be like, ‘Hey, give me attention,’ which the kids are always happy to do.”

“This is new to us, but we’re enjoying it,” Jones said. The center has not previously had a therapy pet in-house, but the experience for clients and staff has been great, she said.

About the author

Crystal Duan

Crystal Duan

Crystal Duan is the Signal's political reporter, covering City Council, the county and other happenings around the city. She graduated from the University of Missouri's journalism school and has worked at the Indianapolis Star and Minneapolis Star Tribune. She has been with the Signal since March 2018.

Jordyn, a 7 year-old black lab sits outside the Child & Family Center in Santa Clarita where she is the newest team member. Cory Rubin/The Signal

New therapy dog at Child & Family Center has one job: to be loved

Jordyn, an endearing 7-year-old black Labrador retriever, is the latest “staff member” at the Child and Family Center this fall.

The therapy dog’s “job” is to walk around the center on breaks, licking the children and interacting with them enough to bring a smile to their faces.

“Everybody loves her,” said her owner Kimberly Hirano. “We were a package deal, and the center staff were gracious enough to allow her to also provide services.”

Hirano is the division director of access and specialty programs at the center. When she was hired in October, she asked if Jordyn could also come.

Jordyn is a former guide dog who dropped out of guide dog school due to allergies, but instead became a trained therapy dog five years ago.

Her certification process entailed testing her temperament and patience with people. Now she is popular with children because she can tolerate having her tail and ears pulled, but is also a great morale booster for the staff, said Cheryl Jones, the center’s vice president of marketing and community outreach.

“She’s been doing this for a while, so she expects to be noticed,” Hirano said, as Jordyn walked up to children and parents around the center, prompting them to pet her with her paw. “Her job there is to be loved. If you walk by her and ignore her, she’ll be like, ‘Hey, give me attention,’ which the kids are always happy to do.”

“This is new to us, but we’re enjoying it,” Jones said. The center has not previously had a therapy pet in-house, but the experience for clients and staff has been great, she said.

About the author

Crystal Duan

Crystal Duan

Crystal Duan is the Signal's political reporter, covering City Council, the county and other happenings around the city. She graduated from the University of Missouri's journalism school and has worked at the Indianapolis Star and Minneapolis Star Tribune. She has been with the Signal since March 2018.