THERAPY DOGS VISIT HOSPITAL FOR 15 YEARS - “Research shows that when a person interacts in a positive way with a dog, hormones are released in the brain by both the dog and human. Patients relax and feel more optimistic, helping them respond better to therapy…”
Therapy dogs have been visiting patients at the Rusk Rehabilitation Center in Missouri for the past 15 years. Volunteers have been bringing the therapy dogs to visit every Thursday. One of the dogs, a Jack Russell Terrier named Emmy Lu, has made 682 visits over the years. Read more from columbiamissourian.com:
Therapy dog volunteers have visited Rusk almost every Thursday for the past 15 years. The program is highly appreciated not only by the patients, but also by the staff who see the effect pet therapy has on patients.
“Sometimes pets can change a person completely,” said Trista Marple, a marketing liaison for Rusk.
Volunteers at Rusk vary from week to week. On a recent Thursday, Carol Schreiber came to the center with her dog, Abby; Cockrell brought her Jack Russell Terrier, Emmy Lu; and Karen Muff brought her Brussels Griffon, Rudy, for the first time.
Therapy dogs must go through training in order to be certified by Therapy Dogs International. Training includes 15 steps that expose potential therapy dogs to situations they may encounter in their work. The training is rigorous and includes acclimating the dog to the sight and sound of medical equipment, being petted with feet when hands can’t be used and not picking up food or pills from the floor.
If you own a dog, you are probably well aware of the calming effect you can get from hugging your dog. It’s no surprise that this great program is still going strong after all these years. Click here for the full story (photo by Amy Bruer).