The use of animals in a hospital or assisted living settings is invaluable. It has proven to lower blood pressure and bring about positive, happy emotions to those in need of a boost. The mere touching of a dog gives patients an opportunity to forget where they are and enjoy companionship like none other.
There are 2 primary organizations that facilitate this special volunteer work. Teams are evaluated for nice obedience cues and manners, as well as sensitivities to patients. A dog is observed for their temperament so as to prevent a nervous dog from appearing unfriendly. Delta Pet Partners and Therapy Dogs International and Love on 4 Paws offer programs that invite teams to prepare and participate in an evaluation. These groups also oversee the program so you know where to visit.
In an effort to promote and help teams become certified as a therapy team Life of Riley Dog Training offers assistance to prepare for testing. A Canine Good Citizen certification is a good place to start when preparing for therapy testing. Moving forward we can give you guidance with your special dog. We have helped many teams become therapy teams over the years.
The bond of working with your dog and watching a child or elderly person’s face light up at the sight of you dog is priceless! Therapy dog work can be the most rewarding method for giving to those who are not able to enjoy a pet of their own.
A Tribute to Tomi….
Tomi was half of a 9/11 1st response team. He was 1 of 5 dogs that entered the South Tower, and 1 of 2 that came out when the building collapsed. His handler did not come out. After surviving the tragedy he relocated to Los Angeles and continued to work as a search & recovery dog with the LAPD. I was blessed to have Tomi and his handler join my CGC Class, where he passed with flying colors and went on to work a second career as a therapy dog in addition to his search work. Tomi traveled the nation bringing joy, relief and closure to many families. 3 days before the 10th anniversary of 9/11 Tomi passed away in his handlers arms. RIP Tomi, you deserve nothing less.