I'm sure everyone has heard the phrase, "Dog is mans best friend." Sometimes people who say this dont really know how true that saying really is. Dogs can do so many things for someone. They can help you overcome your fears, give you someone to talk to when no one else is around, or they can just be something to cuddle up to, or sleep next to. In my younger sisters case the puppy that she recieved helped her learn to cope with her cancer.
Animal assisted therapy has some very interesting facts and findings that I found to be very fascinating. Animal assisted therapy is where animals, usually a dog or a cat, ( but in some cases the animal can be somthing else, Chapel Grove whis is an assisted living facility for older adults has a pot bellied pig,) that goes into a hospital or nursing home and gets to work with more than one of the residents or patients there. There are many different forms of animal therapies, but with animal assisted therapies the animal usually lives within the nursing home or the hospital, and the resident or patients each have a certain thing that they will do with the animal. Things that the resident will do with the animal include brushing, giving the animal a bath, taking the animal for walks, and feeding the animal. These different tasks are split up between many different residents, and they are preformed on certain days of the week.
Once of the reasons that animal work so well with the residents is because animals are very patient they don't make you feel rushed, they are non-judgmental, and then don't make you feel stupid if you don't get something right on the first or second try. Some people who have completely stopped talking for what ever reason have taken part in the animal assisted therapy program and have begun to speak again with the help of an animal. Aniamls seem to have an amazing way of connecting with people.
In the post Wayne Booth talks about how animals are non-judgmental and are very patient, and they just seeem to be there for ou without making you feel stupid for the things that you may say or do. After my sister was diagnosed with cancer she had a hard time talking to my family and I about certian things that she was feeling because she didn't want us to be more upset then we already were. When my sister was feeling this way she would talk to Cocoa , and she never had to worry about him feeling sorry for her and about making him more upset. I feel by my sister having her puppy to talk to she got to get things out in the open without really ever having to tell anyone.
Another thing that the author of the post talked about that I really agreed with was how animals don't have a set schedule, they never have to really be anywhere at a specific time and it doesn't bother them if they have to sit with you for a long period of time. My sister really loved to take care of her puppy, and she didn't really like to get help from other people. Sometimes though these tasks couls take a long time due to the fact that because of her illness she got tired out extremely easy, but Cocoa never seemed to mind he would just sit patiently with her until she was done brushing him.
Wayne Booth also talked about how animals in the animal assisted therapy can make out a schedule with the patients and people that they work with. For example on Mondays one person gets to brush the animal and take him or her for a walk, then on Wednesdays of the same week the same person repeats what they did with the dog on Monday, and the schedule repeats its selft. My sister had a schedule set up with the puppy and by having that schedule she always had something that she new she had to do.
The thing that Wayne Booth wrote on his post that I definitely agreed with was, " Characteristics taht make for a good therapy dog are more about temperment than training." A lot of people told my dad and I that Cocoa would never work with my sister because he wasn't properly trained, and that he might hurt her more than help her. He always was checking up on her, and was always very calm around her. If you saw hime both when he was around and away from my sister, you would never guess that he was the same puppy.
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