Therapy Dogs Always Ready to Lend a Helping Paw

therapy-dog.jpgWhat better way to lift someone’s spirits then to get a big, wet, sloppy lick on the face from a dog?

The concept of “therapy dogs” is becoming an increasingly popular way of helping people cope with illnesses or lonliness, or even help a child gain confidence in their reading skills.

These dogs, who must go through a rigorous training program with their owners, visit places such as libraries–by reading to the dogs, kids are able to read without fear of being judged or criticized.

Therapy dogs also visit hospitals, where dog visits offer a break from the routine of medical treatments. According to www.Dogplay.com, a Web site about therapy dogs, stroking a dog or other animal can help to reduce a person’s blood pressure.

Any dog breed can participate in the therapy program, and anyone can sign up.

K9 Commentary:  

I’ve read articles and seen news stories in the past about dogs and other animals visiting people in hospitals, and how it lifts the spirits of the people they visit. Cindy and I were actually talking about trying to get Casper involved in a dog therapy program. He’s such a friendly dog who absolutely loves everybody. After reading some of the guidelines for the program, it definitely seems intense–only a select group of dogs and their owners actually get to participate in the therapy process.

I hope these kinds of programs continue to grow. What a great way for people to learn about animals, and also feel better about themselves along the way!

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