Sunday, October 16, 2005

And a therapy dog, too!

After passing his Canine Good Citizen test, Gumbo also was certified as a therapy dog through testing for Therapy Dogs International.

Here's some information from their web site about the job therapy dogs do:

"The dogs bring sparkle to a sterile day, provide a lively subject for conversation, and rekindle old memories of previously owned pets. TDI Dogs come in all shapes and sizes; real dogs with real personalities and real love to share. Some have pedigrees, some have been adopted. All are very proud to wear their TDI tags.

"The volunteers in the program and the dogs who visit with those in care facilities do make a difference in the quality of life. Real therapy is provided between animals and people.

"The first time a dog prances into a care facility, most people do a double take. A split second later broad smiles stretch across faces. Regardless of how residents look or how they feel, the animals are happy to see them. Those who live or must stay in a care facility truly benefit from the unconditional love and acceptance provided by TDI Dogs. Typically, there is an immediate response to the tail wagging greetings and warm paws.

"Four-footed therapists give something special to enhance the health and well-being of others. It has been clinically proven that through petting, touching and talking with the animals, patients’ blood pressure is lowered, stress is relieved and depression is eased.

"TDI is aware of the necessity for continuing clinical studies on the human-animal bond and TDI volunteers are willing to participate whenever needed. Each TDI volunteer as an individual has made a tremendous difference in the lives of so many, by sharing their canine companion with those who no longer are able to have a dog of their own. Just think! How sad it would be if you never could touch a dog again."


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