Dogs provide us with unconditional love and emotional support that we can’t always get in a human. My neighbor Bella is a therapy dog and she’s one of the best dogs I’ve ever met. On today’s episode, Terry, Bella’s human, and I talk about the benefits a therapy dog can bring to hospitalized people, seniors in memory communities and even at-risk children. It’s a heartwarming conversation we had on a rainy day while drinking tea and talking about all things dog.
What Is A Therapy Dog?
A therapy dog is a dog that might be trained to provide affection, comfort and love to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, disaster areas. They are defined but not covered or protected under the Federal Housing Act or Americans with Disabilities act. They also do not have public access rights with exception to the specific places they are visiting and working.
Therapy dogs are usually not assistance or service dogs, but can be one or both with some organizations. Many organizations provide evaluation and registration for therapy dogs, sometimes with focus on a particular therapeutic practice such as reading to dogs.
A recent study on elderly nursing home patients now offers scientific support that brief weekly visits from man’s best friend can have a positive therapeutic impact. Terry has experienced this and tells us about it in this episode. It’s one reason I gave it the title of Unconditional Love.
If you want to hear more about seniors and dogs, check out the episode I call Misty Tales. It’s all about my Mom and her dog. I promise, it’s a good one with quite a few laughs. You won’t regret listening to Misty Tales.