Therapy dogs come in all shapes and sizes. They have different talents and areas were they are best suited to help those in need. Some people prefer to call them Visiting dogs, because the word therapy has such a narrow definition in today's world.
Whatever title you give them, these animals bring comfort, smiles, and their own brand of healing to the people they visit. It may be by listening attentively while a child with dyslexia practices reading out loud. Or spending time in a close cuddle with the resident of a nursing home who so badly needs loving contact. Therapy dogs programs are available in some hospitals on the AIDS and cardiac care wards where they share moments of cheer and friendship.
Results of the study were presented at the American Heart Association's Annual Scientific Sessions in Dallas, Tx.The study was funded by the Pet Care Trust Foundation, a non-profit organization which promotes human-animal interaction and bonding.
Why take animals into facilities with the sick, injured, and elderly?
Visits from loving animals can help people feel less lonely, less depressed and can provide a welcome change from routine. In nursing homes, especially, the residents become more responsive during and after the visits. The dogs offer entertainment and distraction from pain.
It's evident on the faces of the ones being visited that the dogs are a source of joy. All creatures, especially mammals, need connection and interaction with others to thrive. The hospitalized and disabled often go lacking for this kind of contact. It's heartwarming to see how all of the creatures on Earth can help each other, live in harmony, symbiotically filling the needs of the other, healing the sick in the process.
If you know of someone in need of these visits or would like to get your dog buddy involved visit these websites for information.