When Sandra rescued her dog Ginny a from a shelter she soon began looking for a way to share the affection of her little friend with people less fortunate. She also wanted to work with elderly people and found the perfect combination in a pet therapy program. She submitted the necessary paper work, and took a weekend class to have Ginny was assessed. During that class they found out that Ginny reacted well to people using walkers, that wheelchairs did not scare her, that balls did not make her forget her manners and that even in the presence of a cat she stayed calm and collected. As a small, affectionate and calm dog she turned out to be a good fit for the pet therapy program.
Sandra and Ginny started their involvement by visiting an assisted living facility and meeting with dementia patients. Sandra speaks about how gratifying it was to see Ginny reach the patients on a deep level and being able to bring joy and comfort to the residents at the facility.
In this interview Sandra talks about her – and Ginny’s – experiences with the program.
The direct download link for the interview is here.
You can also hear it here.
Online you can find a variety of organizations from local and international that work with dog owners and train them and their furry friends to be part of a dog therapy program.
Petpartners is a nationwide organization. You can find them here.
Therapy Dogs International is an international focused on regulating, testing and registration of
therapy dogs and their volunteer handlers for the purpose of visiting nursing homes, hospitals, other institutions and wherever else therapy dogs are needed.
Furry Friends, the program Sandra and Ginny joined in the San Francisco South Bay can be found here.