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This has been one of the most rewarding adventures I have ever volunteered to do. First, let me tell you just a little bit about my two dogs, a short little Bio on each. There are pictures on my dog therapy page.
Benny, my black lab, is about 5 years old now. (I never seem to remember exactly how old he is.) Benny is a wonderful dog (even though he likes to steal my pillows). He loves visiting our friends in the home. Clearly, this is where he loves to be.
Then there is Nikki, my 2 year golden puppy. Nikki is a typical 2 year golden. She is full of life. She keeps me hopping. And, just like Benny, she brings pure gold to our friends. Benny and Nikki are on my dog therapy page.
It has been an extremely busy summer so far. Unfortunately, with work demanding more and more of my time, and with home issues demanding more and more of my time, my volunteering has lapsed this summer. This has created a void in me.
The one thing I have learned about this situation is how much I love the dog therapy visiting programs.
Benny has been a visiting dog for a number of years now. We have always gone to the same home, so we have made many wonderful friends.
Well, after my "sabbatical" I went and took Benny to see our senior friends last Saturday Night. This was an unscheduled visit. I could have cried. They were so very happy to see him again (not me so much). We had a "Benny" party in the lobby.
What a wonderful time my Benny had. Of course! Everyone was petting him, and talking to him. Wow, he was being treated like royalty. A true friend come home.
It was just great to see this joy. We all talked and laughed and joked. Everyone talked about their summer, how they were doing, what was going on in their own world. I felt better then I had for a long time. My new resolve is to go back to my weekly visits. I do not want to miss out on these opportunities anymore.
So, my advice, as always is: If you have the inclination to visit with seniors, if you have a dog that loves to be petted, a dog that loves the human touch, then please go to your local Dog Therapy Group and find out how you can join this wonderful work. It is not difficult to get your dog certified.
The three most well known organizations that offer certification; Delta Society, Therapy Dog International and Therapy Dogs, Inc. There are other therapy organizations and you may find an organization in your area via the internet under dog therapy, pet therapy or animal assisted therapy.
And, for us Canadians, there is, Therapeutic Paws of Canada (my dogs belong to this wonderful group). They offer a volunteer based therapy dog and cat visitation program for senior's facilities such as retirement homes, nursing homes, Alzheimer day away centers, hospitals and where there is a need. The medical establishment has long recognized the significant benefits of a therapy dog and cat program. The petting and stroking of a pet helps to calm the most agitated resident and stimulates wonderful conversations about the pet they once owned. Recovery from surgery is quoted as being accelerated when there is continued contact with a pet. As a result of the many government fiscal cutbacks, the facility's staff is stretched to their limits. The positive impact of our programme on the day-to-day life of each senior throughout our community and beyond cannot be calculated.
There are more links on my personal dog therapy page: http://www.mimfreedom.com/dogtherapy.htm
My name is Ruth Bird, and I am the owner of 3 dogs, 2 are Registered Therapy Visiting Dogs, my third dog is blind. My passions are health for people and pets and promoting a happy, healthy and wealthy lifestyle. As an owner of 3 healthy, happy dogs, I am very much involved in dog training, nutrition and health. You will find links to many dog related sites on my dog therapy page.
Bambi and 5 other pets are looking to find forever homes
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Adoptable pets for October 19-25
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Dave is a 4½-year-old male Tabby. He's independent and likes to be loved on his own terms. If you are looking for a cat who acts like a dog, then Dave is the one for you! Meet Dave and all our adoptable animals at HumaneSocietyTennessee.org!
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Pets of the Week, Oct. 20
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Fuzzy B is a beautiful, loving and playful 3- to 5-year-old spayed old Maine coon female She's not good with other cat, and hasn't been around dogs or kids, so best with adults and as the only pet. She must be inside only. Evaluation required. For ...
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Ask the Vet: Watch for subtle signs of pain in your pets
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If you ask people whether they are empathetic, most will say yes. We're brought up to value empathy and consider it a good thing. We like to think we can imagine and feel the discomfort of another, which is the definition of empathy. When push comes to ...
Halloween: Fun for humans, potentially deadly for pets
And, she says, all that candy can be dangerous for pets if ingested. "A lot of people don't know the grapes and raisins are bad, (as well as) gum. Gum has something called xylitol in it, and xylitol is now being used as an artificial sweetener in a lot ...
Meet this week's Perfect Pets up for adoption at Humane Society
Meet Porter! He might not be famous for his theories on economics-- but he's famous for lifting up your spirits. Porter is a huge fan of family time and he's great with kids. Another plus-- he's not afraid of getting his hands dirty with dogs or other ...
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How all the fur babies are getting into Halloween this year
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With Halloween just a chilly breeze away, pet parents are busily searching for or stitching up clever costumes for their fur babies. And if you are one of the millions of last-minute shoppers, pet suppliers have hot trends ready for you. According to ...
Halloween can be overwhelming for some pets
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Mike Hoffer, the longtime owner of Hoffer's Tropic Life Pets, remembered for always putting customers first
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"Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life", was an adage Wauwatosa native Mike Hoffer's passed onto to his children, according to his family. Hoffer, owner of Hoffer's Tropic Life Pets from 1973-2014, died unexpectedly ...
12 Halloween parties to attend with your pets
Pet owners will spend nearly half a billion dollars on animal costumes this Halloween, according to a new report, but the smart ones might be able to make some of that back by competing in pet costume contests and winning prizes. San Antonio ...
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