Have you ever thought about how good you would feel bringing joy into someone else’s life and making them feel really good for a day. You and a therapy dog can do just that.
If you have an hour or so a week to spare you could make a difference to someone confined to a long term care facility or a hospital or to a senior living in a retirement residence. With some constructive obedience training by a professional dog trainer you can have a well behaved dog to take into various places to spend some time with patients, and the smiles you will see will be one of the biggest rewards you and your dog will ever have.
Most dogs that are relatively calm and people friendly and have had proper obedience training can become great therapy dogs. There are a lot of people in care facilities for various reasons, such as illness or age, and a lot of people who may not have any family or friends to visit with them. Bringing your dog in for a supervised visit can really mean a lot. Just remember that all care facilities each have their own rules and regulations, and you should always do your homework first and abide by their wishes. It is often a nice touch and appreciated by both patients and staff that your dog is clean and well-groomed and perhaps sports a cute sweater or bandana.
There are various agencies that offer pet therapy programs. They will assess your pet to see if he/she would be a good candidate as a therapy dog, for those of you who would like to learn more about becoming involved in volunteering your time with your dog in hospitals and other care facilities.
So instead of being a couch potato on a Sunday afternoon, get out there and put a smile on someone’s face.
Do you know of someone who would enjoy a visit with a therapy dog?