Studies have shown that interaction with animals can improve physical, social, emotional, and cognitive function. Those of us that own pets can attest to that! When you're feeling low or have had a bad day, cuddling your beloved dog or cat gives you an immense amount of comfort. But some pets in our community hold an even more important role. George the Labradoodle is a very special dog. He was kindly donated to the Sugden family as a Therapy Dog to assist their young son, Taine.
Taine's mother Janelle reports that George is settling in well at home, and apart from the usual puppy antics, is showing all the signs of becoming a very useful Therapy Dog for Taine. And he has obviously become a very important and much loved member of their family.
Not-for-profit groups like Animal Companions do so much for the community - they visit hospitals, treatment centres, schools and other facilities to provide smiles and health benefits. They also promote responsible pet ownership through ongoing education, training, social activities, and support to its members.
Therapy dogs come in all different shapes and sizes, from Great Danes to Chihuahuas. They don't need any special skills apart from being in good health, well behaved, confident, friendly, enjoy contact with people and other dogs, and reasonably calm in unfamiliar situations.
If you think your dog would be an asset to the Therapy Dogs group, Animal Companions can be reached at www.aciwa.org.au