Therapy Dogs ~ By Meg
Our pets bring us so much joy into our lives. Many studies have shown that not only do our pets make us happy, but contact with a pet can also have positive effects on your health. Studies have shown that pets can decrease anxiety, lower blood pressure, and lower triglyceride levels among other benefits(http://www.helpguide.org/articles/emotional-health/the-health-benefits-of-pets.htm). Some pets have the right personality to also bring joy to others.
I have a dog named Laker. As he became an adult, I decided to train him for therapy dog work. He has been a registered therapy dog with Alliance of Therapy Dogs since August 2013. Since that date, we have done 160 visits to several assisted nursing homes. It has been a win/win situation. When Laker walks into someone’s room, the person lights up and smiles and Laker is just happy that someone is petting him. I have witnessed people being sad and not alert, but when Laker comes toward them, they response positively. The residents excitedly look forward to his visits. It is amazing how such a small thing like bringing a dog around can brighten the person’s day. I have also enjoyed talking to each person. You can learn a lot about someone in a short period of time and they enjoy not only the contact time with the pet, but also a chance to visit with the pet’s handler. If you have a dog that has a love of being around people, who has a good temperament, and is well behaved, please consider volunteering your time and allow your pet to bring joy to others through therapy work.
If you are interested in therapy work with your pet, check out the resources below: