Thursday, August 21, 2014

Therapy Dogs Healing Powers

By Coleen Elkins

Have you ever been in the hospital as a patient or visiting someone and notice dogs walking down the halls and into rooms with there owners?  The look of joy and surprise on a patients face when the dog and owner are standing in the doorway will warm your heart. At one hospital in Waco Texas the dogs are even dressed in cheerful attire. In this particular hospital they also visit the ICU surgery unit.

The visits are short and the dogs have been trained how to behave when visiting patients. You will see them in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and senior centers.  They have been found very therapeutic for those with autism.  

Does your dog have the "Midas touch"? There are many training courses both in person and on the web for owners and their dogs. The dogs are expected to be non-aggressive, obedient and not bark or jump on anyone. Volunteering your dog can be very rewarding for both of you. Spending a few moments petting a dog is known to lowers ones blood pressure. If you are spending a couple days a week volunteering you are getting some exercise yourself. The feeling of putting joy in another person's heart will leaving you feeling in a good mood for the rest of the day and beyond. The training courses will cost you, but the return is well worth the money spent.

If you have a little time you can commit each week here are some websites that offer training.

Therapy Dogs International 

American Kennel Club - Therapy Dogs

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