The person behind Mighty Angus:
A Look into Tiffany Moran’s Life and Therapy Dogs
By Bella Dragovich
Most likely you’ve seen him around. Many would say he looks like a big black bear.
But he is a therapy dog, helping those who need some comfort. Who is he?
But before we go into the story of Angus and his owner, there is one question that must be asked. What makes a therapy dog? “These dogs have years of training and testing to be allowed to do what they do and it only takes one well intentioned uneducated person to ruin it.”
To become a certified Project Canine therapy dog team, there are 4 things you must do. First, you must take the 4-hour Introduction to Therapy Dog Principles and Initial Team Screening. Second, you must take the Project Canine Therapy Exam with your dog. Both you and your dog partner must pass to move on to the next step.
Third, you must participate in a Practice Lab with your dog.Last, after step 3, you must register, and pay for your insurance.
So now that we know what makes a therapy dog, who is Angus and who is his owner?
Along with Tiffany Moran, Angus helps those in need. They work with H.O.P.E AACR, short for Animal Assisted Crisis Response. They are certified as a therapy dog team under Project Canine. Angus is a newfoundland therapy dog who helps in times of crisis where a therapy dog is needed. Angus finds those who need comfort, if they are OK with him nearby. Other than that, he will go read with students.
His owner Moran was a homesteader, and graduated in 1996. She used to go to Pleasant Hill High School.
That’s right, she’s a Billie.
“I’m not stubborn, I am strong willed, I have a set of right and wrong and I expect everyone to follow that.”
In school, Moran questioned everything, refusing to believe something that her teachers told her, or if it was in a book. It was proof of why something was like it was that she accepted. She also talked to everyone, not staying to a group of friends. Moran had a sense of right and wrong which she wanted everyone to follow.
She also did not believe the “Golden Rule” idea, which was “He who has the Gold makes the rules.” But all this doesn’t mean she wasn’t serious about school. She was serious about learning. She appreciated PHHS, liking the teachers, the community, and the chances to try things. Other than that, Moran was a jock, and she lettered in everything except volleyball.
After graduation, a few years later, she came back to Pleasant Hill to coach soccer with Colin Hay, staying a coach for several years. Moran does note the changes to the school, especially the school not being so cold. However, she doesn’t like the fences and gates as much.
Dogs have a special place in Moran’s heart. She knows how dogs can help others by personally being the recipient of their love. Her loved ones have also been helped by canines as well. When Moran met Angus as a pup at 5 months old, she knew that Angus could give something special to others.
Later, at a dog event, she met her future evaluator for Project Canine. Her name is Amy, and Moran didn’t really like her at first. But now, they are great friends, and Amy has helped Moran to find more to do with Angus to help more, like introducing them to H.O.P.E AACR.
But her work does have its challenges. Specifically, “good samaritans.” Just because you have a dog doesn’t mean he/she will help others in a crisis. So please, don’t bring them. At all.
Other than that, her work is emotional for Moran. It is hard to watch others struggle. There is also confidentiality she deals with as well. The stories she sees can not be told, for they are not hers to tell others. Professionally, Moran is an apparel and a promotions coordinator. She also rides both dirt and street bikes, and actively does dog-related activities.