Sandy Suarez, a longtime therapy dog owner and the founder of the Plymouth-based organization Great Dane Rescue, is hoping that other dog owners are interested in joining her cause. She wants to help patients with the healing aura that therapy dogs bring.
Sandy is also the director of clinical services at Grace Hospital in Troy and wants other dog owners to bring in their certified therapy dogs (those that are certified by Therapy Dog Inc. or Therapy Dogs International) to help patients relax and feel comfort even at their most trying of times.
The biggest qualification that the director is looking for is a calm demeanor and a willingness to be loved. The pooches should also be able to provide emotional support.
Source: Calling a few good dogs: Furry faces can be the best medicine for hospital, hospice patients
Daisy is the living legacy of Dana Esposito who died four years ago. The brawny red golden retriever now walks the halls of Holy Redeemer Hospital each Monday with her owner and mother of Daisy, Dolores.
The dog’s job is to bring comfort and relief to patients at the hospice. The 85-pound dog, which is decked out in a pink collar and clip-on bows, allows a patient to accept a lick, stroke her fur, or simply look into her calming eyes.
It was a tough battle that was fought for Daisy to roam the halls of hospices as it was very difficult to bring in a dog inside a hospital. That battle was won and was greatly appreciated by a lot of people.
Source: A rare calming influence: Therapy dogs in demand at hospices, but are hard to find
A three-and-a-half year old German Shepherd named Idol is quite the celebrity for war veterans. The dog itself is a fellow war veteran and has been opening up the hearts and minds of other veterans in the Silver Lake Assisted Living Facility in Leesburg.
People are seeing smiles in the hospice as soon as the dog walks up to a nearby veteran. The dog now lives in Leesburg with his new owner, Missy Ziler. Ziler coordinated with Cornerstone Hospice to train the dog into becoming a certified hospice therapy dog for patients.
The dog is a blessing to each and every one within the facility.
Source: U.S. Army dog devoted to service
Nancy Diepenbrock started training her golden retriever named Quincy to become a therapy dog ever since her retirement started. The woman is energetic but that is all thanks to her dog. Every time the woman will visit her pooch, Quincy will lean his body against Nancy then the dog puts his head on his owner’s knee.
The woman explains that it is amazing how many people will open up to a therapy dog. Nancy visited a woman before who had trouble verbalizing things. However, when the woman started petting Quincy, the words “oh, good dog” came out.
Nancy states that dogs can touch your hearts in places that you did not know had an emptiness.
Source: Nancy and Quincy: A Therapy Dog Story
Mikaila Wireman works as a volunteer for the Northwest Therapeutic Riding Center. She is a behavioral neuroscience major and loves horses since she was still eleven years old. Her passions for equines and education has helped her and the center’s clients in achieving great results.
The horses in the center, along with volunteers like Wireman, helps people with mental and physical disabilities through equine assisted therapy sessions. The average client for the center works with two volunteers that will help them throughout the entire session.
Wireman states that a great part of being with the center is seeing the patients grow.
Source: Horses serve as therapy tools for people with mental disabilities
An anti-bullying program called “Paws Against Bullying” is using therapy dogs to teach schools about bullying and what are its effects. The program started three years ago in Waco and volunteers show that bullies come in all shapes and sizes.
The program incorporates a smaller dog and a bigger dog. After which, volunteers ask students on who they think is the bully. Majority of students will say that the bigger dog is the bully just because he is big; however, if the smaller dog were to say something mean to the bigger dog then the situation is then reversed.
The therapy dogs also portray how a victim feels after being bullied.
Source: Therapy Dogs Bring New Perspective On Bullying
Paws Against Bullying is a Texas group that uses therapy dogs to try and help prevent bullying in schools. They use “man’s best friend” to shine a new light on one of America’s growing problem which is bullying.
At least two dogs are brought into schools by dog handlers. Large and small dogs are being used in the program to ask questions and demonstrate how bullies can come in all shapes and sizes.
The program is spearheaded by Angel Paws Waco.
Fancy and Romeo are horses who helps Angie Payne with her work. She uses Equine Therapy to aide their patients’ needs. They deal with people who are experiencing trauma, grief, anxiety and depression.
Gestalt therapy is described as being based in expression and relationship with the goals of increasing awareness of the present moment, experiencing feelings and expressing emotions, exploring patterns in relationship, and integrating new patterns of behavior and ways of relating. With the help of the horses, stresses were released and new hopes were found.
People who have had experience with the program found it to be a special gift.
Source: Equine therapy offers hope for hurting people
Rees, a two- year old Labrador-golden retriever mix, has a duty to comfort ill children and their families. He is one of the many facility dogs that are trained from puppyhood to full-time partner at one facility.
At Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital, they have a team of 5 therapy dogs. One of them is Aspen, a golden retriever. He became the therapy dog of Michael Sellars who suffered from a traumatic brain injury in an automobile accident.
There are other dogs at the hospital who comfort children and their families at their time of need.
Source: Facility, therapy dogs provide ‘a type of comfort nobody else can’
Eddie Arlt, a 5-year-old Columbian boy, has been diagnosed with several behavior disorders that affected his speech and language function. A speech – language therapy that includes hippotherapy was introduced to his parents to help with the disorder.
Hippotherapy refers to the movement of a horse as a treatment strategy for physical, occupational, or even speech-language therapy. It differs from “therapeutic” riding, which is aimed at improving riding skills or quality of life for individuals with special needs.
After 2 years of hippotherapy, the 5-year old is now able to interact and communicate better.
Source: For Columbus boy, horse therapy, speech therapy combine to ease autism symptoms