WHO BENEFITS FROM PET THERAPY?

By Wednesday, May 4, 2016 36 , Permalink

If someone asked you that question – who benefits from pet therapy?

What would your answer be?

Truth be told, I just found that out.

Close to noon on any given Tuesday Harley and I can be seen rushing from the parking garage heading into the South entrance of the MUSC Children’s Hospital…

MUSC-Childrens-Hospital-logo

That’s his pet therapy shift, 12-2pm every Tuesday for the next 12 months. #aworkingdoodle

In addition to health problems, people in hospitals deal with –

  • pain
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • fatigue

Harley’s job as a therapy dog is to help improve the patients mental, social, and emotional functions.

I am only the handler. He’s the magic potion. #abracadoodledabra

Training to get started is lengthy and detailed, as it should be.

After much reading material, online testing, orientation and practice – Harley is allowed in hospital rooms and on beds with the patients.

 

IF YOU WERE WONDERING –

There are several sanitary steps taken to ensure protection of the patient as well as the dogs.

In conjunction to the patients, the staff benefits from the dogs also…

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Every nurses station is a pit stop for love, hugs and often treats. I love to see the smiles when the doors swing open and they realize he’s there.

Yesterday we met some incredible families –

  • Parents, who, in the worst of times display enormous kindness, faith and hope.
  • Children, who, although would rather be anywhere else than a hospital, are still cheerful, playful and so grateful.

Before we know it – his shift is over and it’s time to leave.

We circled around to say goodbye to a girl who was finally leaving today. She has been Harley’s first patient and  his favorite masseuse for two weeks straight.

Once we’re back in the car, I give him some water and we sit together for a few minutes before heading home.

I’m not sure what he sees or feels so I always want to make sure he’s aware that I’m there for him AND with him all the time.

As we sat, I started to reflect about our day together and the realization to my original question hit me like a ton of bricks.

The person who’s truly benefiting from this experience is…

IMG_8601

Thank you Harley – for sharing your world with me, Doodle Mom

*If you are interested in your dog sharing his love and fluffiness as a pet therapy dog, please check your local listings for certification classes

ONE MORE THING –

If you’re interested in a giveaway for a waterproof car seat dog cover, hop on over – click here!

Signature

This is our contribution in the BlogPaws Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop.

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY

36 Comments
  • LeeAnna Paylor
    May 4, 2016

    oh my. Wonderful post.

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 4, 2016

      Thanks LeeAnna – have a great day!

  • Verna
    May 4, 2016

    The article on “Pet Therapy” is awesome. Continue your worthwhile journey!

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 4, 2016

      Why thank you Verna! So happy to hear you’re still keeping up with the Boys. I promise I will continue… God Bless 🙂

  • Emma
    May 4, 2016

    My mom isn’t interested in us being therapy dogs, but we are her personal therapy dogs and that is a big enough task for our paws!

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 4, 2016

      Pet therapy isn’t for everyone. You’re mom is smart to know this isn’t her thing. And I’m glad to hear that you girls are taking care of her!

  • Tenacious Little Terrier
    May 4, 2016

    Mr. N loves playing with the kids and the kids love seeing him too! Good job, Harley!

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 4, 2016

      I’m sure children and adults are thrilled to see Mr. N.

  • Valerie
    May 4, 2016

    Sadly enough in Belgium Therapy dogs aren’t certified! People still don’t believe in the power a dog can have.. It’s so sad!!
    Dogs can make such a big difference in someone’s life!!
    Keep it up!! It’s so important!
    I’m fighting for therapy pets overhere in Belgium!!

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 4, 2016

      I cannot believe there are places on this planet that don’t understand the value in Pet Therapy. So sad 🙁 Keep fighting Valerie!

  • Robin
    May 4, 2016

    I’m so glad that Harley is doing pet therapy now! That is awesome. I think that animals are very healing for people. Helping people is truly rewarding. I can see how you would feel that you are the true beneficiary of the therapy. 🙂

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 4, 2016

      Not sure I’m the true beneficiary – but I certainly do enjoy being one of them!

  • Melissa & Mudpie
    May 4, 2016

    All of our pets are therapy pets to their humans, but therapy pets in hospitals and nursing homes are so, so important. I love that more and more cats are joining the program too!

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 4, 2016

      Haven’t seen a cat yet – but I will certainly keep an eye out!

  • The Daily Pip
    May 4, 2016

    Dogs are such natural healers. I am sure Harley brings so much joy and comfort to everyone – parents, kids, nurses, etc. Keep spreading the love, Harley!

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 4, 2016

      That’s our plan Daily Pip, we’re going to keep going until Harley barks “enough.”

  • Jackie Bouchard
    May 4, 2016

    That’s so great that you guys are doing that! I know from volunteering at the dog shelter that I benefit as much as the pups – maybe more – so I’m sure it must be really rewarding for you to be doing this. If I’m ever in a hospital, I would certainly want a visit from a doodle!!!

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 4, 2016

      I look forward to Tuesdays so much now. Harley is really good at his job too! Love this doodle 🙂

  • Dashlilly
    May 4, 2016

    Bravo!!! Bravo!!! What a beautiful post — love the pictures. Harley is looking so comfortable, so serious, so hardworking! Can’t wait to hear more.

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 4, 2016

      Harley does take his job seriously. He has a special leash and collar, when he sees me grab it – he runs straight to the front door. By the time we get out of the car in the parking garage, he’s strutting to the elevator like a peacock doodle on a mission. So funny!

  • Sand Spring Chesapeakes
    May 4, 2016

    Oh what a wonderful post, thank you and Harley for doing what you do! I also have done therapy work and I miss it.

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 4, 2016

      It’s a true blessing – I love it.

  • Lindsay
    May 5, 2016

    Don’t you feel such an immense feeling of pride? I think the positive benefits ripple outward and they affect everyone he’s around. You, the patient, the family, the hospital staff.
    Go Harley!! He must go home completely wiped out, does he? I know it’s different but when I had Charlie doing modeling/print work, he’d leave and sleep like the dead, snoring his heart away. 🙂

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 5, 2016

      I don’t know about [pride, I am just in awe each week with how much his visits mean to everyone including me! I do not get on the computer much on Tuesday. I purposely play with him and Jax most of the afternoon and then we all cuddle in the evening. I worry about what goes on in Harley’s head after leaving the hospital so making sure he’s just goofing off the rest of the day with me and Jax is the best medicine for him #Ibelieve We need to talk one day Lindsay – I’ve always wanted to get Harley into print modeling, need some pointers on how to get started!

  • M. K. Clinton
    May 5, 2016

    I think Pierre would make a great therapy dog. I know that Jax and Harley would bring a smile to my face in the hospital. ♥ ♥

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 5, 2016

      Pierre would make an A-Mazing pet therapy dog! No doubt in my mind.

  • Emmy Scammahorn
    May 5, 2016

    An animal is the only sentient being who doesn’t see the patient as a patient. They’re a human being. They’re not sick, to be pitied, possibly facing death—all the emotional stuff we humans pile on. An animal sees the pure person. What a relief that must be for a person who is ill! Good for you, Doodle Mom.

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 5, 2016

      True but debatable to a point. I believe animals are aware of those who are sick. but I agree – they do not pity the patient. Harley reacts differently based on the severity of the patients illness. He takes his cues from them. If they struggle with comfort he is very still and quiet. Yet, everyone seems to forget their present situation, no matter how grave – to smile, laugh and cuddle with him, and I feel so blessed to witness this each week.

  • Hawk aka BrownDog
    May 5, 2016

    Hi Y’all!

    How wonderful for the patients.

    Y’all come on by,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 5, 2016

      AbsoDOODLEtutely Hawk Brown Dog! How you been?

  • Christine Caplan
    May 5, 2016

    Pet therapy is so important for people in hospitals. I’ve seen stress literally melt away when therapy animals visit senior homes. Anyone that’s in a hospital setting can only benefit from the visit of your doodles – those pictures!

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 6, 2016

      Fascinating stats on pet therapy. The mere fact that the doctor will order a pet therapy dog to sit with a patient to bring his blood pressure down “naturally” amazes me. Can’t wait to train Jaxson once he gets a little older. Have a great weekend Christine – Happy Mothers Day.

  • Monika & Sam
    May 7, 2016

    Yup…you totally nailed it. And I love the expression of the nurse’s station being a pit stop for hugs and treats. Sam does the work, I just drive him and watch as he spreads healing magic with patients, staff and visitors to the hospital and hospice. Such gratifying work. Kudos to you for doing it!

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 7, 2016

      Hey Monika – isn’t it the best ever? We live for Tuesday’s around here 🙂 Happy Mothers Day to Sam’s incredible Mommy!

  • Jan K
    May 10, 2016

    Beautiful!! I’d say that is definitely what is called a win-win, everybody benefits!

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 12, 2016

      It’s always a great day.

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