Therapy Dogs...much more than pets

Melody Moran on June 27, 2016

Harley Quinn 4 months

Animals are our friends! It has long been known that animals bring out the best in people. They make us happy, give us a feeling of calm and are able to give us a way to physically connect to another being when we sometimes find that difficult. According to Therapy Dogs United, a therapy dog is a friend to everyone! They are extremely patient and loving, and provide great companionship. 

Therapy dogs have long been used in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, group homes and even prisons. Therapy dogs do many things, but often, they just sit quietly, allowing themselves to be an outlet for one's grief, fears or troubles. Visiting with animals can help you feel less lonely or depressed. People are more active and responsive during a visit with animals. 

It has been proven that simply petting an animal can lower stress, blood pressure and anxiety. Therapy dogs may also work with the disabled. In these settings, therapy dogs are considered to be a working dog and are used exclusively by one individual. 

We are thrilled to offer our families the opportunity to interact with a therapy dog. Harley Quinn is a 5 month old standard poodle and she is always up for some loving! Whether it is a few pats from a small child or playing fetch with employees, volunteers or families, she is up to the task. She is currently in training to become our CCO "Chief Cheer Officer." We've always known that we wanted to have a dog on staff and from time to time, staff members have had their animals visit, but having Harley here more often brings an entirely new dynamic to our House. 

Pets make a house into a home and that is what Harley does for us. There is nothing like spending a long and emotionally draining day at the hospital and then coming back to the House and being greeted by a sweet animal with a soft coat to pet and a look in her eyes that says "it's going to be okay!"