PET THERAPY AT MUSC

By Friday, February 19, 2016 12 , Permalink

February marks our fourth month as Charleston residents. I’ve purposely and cautiously waited to find the pawfect therapy program for Harley. Today I am thrilled to announce that we’ve set our sights on Pet Therapy at MUSC

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The Medical University of South Carolina has a new and innovative pet therapy program that I believe pairs well with Harley’s gift and purpose. #andhesgottouseit

TWO TYPES OF PET THERAPY – 

  • Animal Assisted Activitiesa “meet & greet” type of program which Harley has done before.
  • Animal Assisted Therapyutilizes therapy dogs to personally assist the patients.

EXAMPLE –

An AAT dog (animal assisted therapy) can be requested to visit with a patient as a calming technique to help bring the patient’s BP down. Meet Lucky who is one of many MUSCHairy Heroes”…

Photo courtesy of Lucky Hoffman's FB page

Photo courtesy of Lucky Hoffman’s FB page

AAT dogs are also often used in their children’s hospital. I hope to volunteer there with Harley. I think he would do extremely well giving out GOLDEN hugs & DOODLE kisses to little humans #likeLucky

Photo courtesy of Lucky Hoffman's FB page

Photo courtesy of Lucky Hoffman’s FB page

The 2016 Spring Volunteer Application will be available Monday, February 22nd. I plan to submit Harley’s application so we can begin the process. Paws crossed we are accepted. 🐾

In the meantime, I decided to teach Harley simple sign language commands in the event we meet a special human who is not able to speak.

Here are the signs he’s learned so far –

 COME –

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SIT –

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STAY –

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JUMP –

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Jaxson is still a little too young #mindbodyandsoul

Therefore I will wait another year before training for certification. He shows great promise though, he’s picked up the sign language commands just as fast as Harley #smartdoodle

Click here if you’d like to learn more about MUSC’s pet therapy program.

We pawmise to keep you posted #punintended as we go through this process.

Have a wonderful weekend – We’ll be back here on Monday

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12 Comments
  • Monika
    February 19, 2016

    Aw, they are both too adorable. They look like fluffy stuffies. As half of a pet therapy team I know how much it means to patients to receive visits from from these wonderful fur helpers. Kudos to you and your boys.

    • Cathy Bennett
      February 19, 2016

      Thanks Monika – I am anxious to get Harley into this program, and super excited to start working with Jax now in the hopes of getting him ready for early next year.

  • Two French Bulldogs
    February 19, 2016

    Therapy dogs help so many people! You guys rock
    Lily & Edward

    • Cathy Bennett
      February 19, 2016

      Thanks Two French Bulldogs! We think you’re pretty special too!

  • Sand Spring Chesapeakes
    February 19, 2016

    Thanks for doing what you do. I miss my therapy work now that I have pups.

    • Cathy Bennett
      February 19, 2016

      Well before you know it – they will no longer be pups 🙁 and you can get back to therapy work 🙂 Have a great weekend!

  • Emma
    February 19, 2016

    Mom has used our own hand signals with commands since we were little which is now coming in handy with Katie being almost deaf. Dogs tend to pick up on hand signals much faster than verbal commands. Good luck in your therapy dog endeavors.

    • Cathy Bennett
      February 19, 2016

      Thanks Emma – I figure a few signs will be helpful if the patients can’t talk or if I have him in an environment where I need to be silent! Have a great weekend 🙂

  • Kimberly Gauthier
    February 21, 2016

    That’s so cool. I would love to do something like this with our dogs, but they’re too high strung. Practicing the hand singles would be good for any dog; a fun training exercise.

    • Cathy Bennett
      February 24, 2016

      I agree – teaching them hand signals is good “quality time” for the three of us. They are a challenge to train together – takes much longer but we’ve got time. You may want to consider one of your dogs for therapy as he/she gets older. It’s nice to see other people enjoy what you love so much. Give it a thought 🙂

  • Tenacious Little Terrier
    February 22, 2016

    Awesome! I hope you guys are accepted and it’s cool that Harley is learning sign language!

    • Cathy Bennett
      February 24, 2016

      Thanks Mr. N. – We will definitely keep you posted.

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