Plainfield Resident And Her Therapy Dog Nominated For Award 


Karen Wardlaw of Plainfield, Ill. and her four-year-old Bullmastiff Bandit received a nomination for the 2012 Award for Canine Excellence (ACE) in the Therapy Dog category. The American Kennel Club® holds these awards annually.

Wardlaw and Bandit are members of two Therapy Dog organizations; Rainbow Animal Assisted Therapy and Therapy Dog Incorporated. They often visit area organizations and hospitals to provide comforting therapy and support. In addition, they periodically assist instructor Matt Mirro at Joliet Junior College’s K-9 Good Citizen Dog Obedience class.

A few years ago, Wardlaw and Bandit participated in the class at Joliet Junior College which provided a great starting point that sparked a great deal of interest. They really enjoyed the class and decided to proceed with obtaining a therapy dog certification in addition to the CGC Certification. Wardlaw said, “The class at JJC was a great foundation because you need to learn those skills to continue on with CGC certification. The networking was also great.”

The K-9 Good Citizen Dog Obedience Class provides a fun and friendly environment for basic pet obedience training and prepares participants for the Canine Good Citizen Certification through the American Kennel Club. Working as a team, owners and pets learn to understand each other. The owners train with their pets and make correction to comfortably gain control and instruct the pet to understand what is expected of them. The class covers ten skills areas that well-mannered dogs must have. The class also prepares teams for the AKC CGC test and it provides the foundation for pursuing therapy dog certification. Classes are held at various times throughout the year.
Program Coordinator Brenda Large stated, “The K-9 Good Citizen Dog Obedience Class is a great way for pet owners and their dogs to receive training in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Karen is a terrific example of how this class can provide a stepping stone to future endeavors.”
This class is offered through Joliet Junior College’s Corporate & Community Services. For more information or to find out when the next session of the K-9 Good Citizen Dog Obedience class at JJC will be held, please call (815) 280-1504.

To see more of what Bandit and Karen do, visit

© 2012 Joliet Junior College

Joliet Junior College
1215 Houbolt Road, Joliet, IL 60431-8938
Phone: (815) 729-9020