Therapy Dogs Win As Top Therapists
Yesterday, Wheatie and made our weekly visits to the cancer center and to visit pain patients. Before beginning our day, we parked the car and joined a lovely young woman in the elevator on her way to the hospital. She’d never met Wheatie and asked if he was a therapy dog. When I told her he was, she said, with a big smile on her face, “I’m a physical therapy here at the hospital and I’m not sure I like therapy dogs.” Seeing the questioning look on my face, she continued, “Last week, a therapy dog visited our physical therapy area, which everyone loved. This week, one of my patients came in and said, ‘Where’s the dog? I don’t want to just have therapy with you. I had therapy with the dog last week and that’s what I want again this week!’”
Needless to say, she enjoyed her time loving Wheatie on the elevator ride, so we knew she really understood that the therapy dog brought magical energy to the clinic. And while Wheatie did the real therapy of trading stress for doggie kisses, I shared information from research studies proving people actually DO do better in therapy sessions when a therapy dog is there.
Wheatie, as always, was star of the day. When we were leaving our first room after visiting, a couple folks waved to Wheatie, so I asked Wheatie to wave back to the delight of his fans. The rest of the day was spent visiting and waving. Amazing how that simple wave helps people feel Wheatie’s really connecting with them. Therapy dog magic — it’s a beautiful thing.
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