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