Therapy animals help people in every stage of life every day. They help us cope with tragedies, sickness, loneliness, reading, rehabilitation, etc. I am lucky enough to know a few very special therapy animals who do a variety of services.
A couple huge but gentle Newfoundlands, Dinah and Boomer, visit patients at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. One sweet German Shepherd Dog, Ali, has spent time with the elderly and infirm in various personal care homes.
Two others, a Shetland Sheep Dog and a Golden Retriever, Jasmine & Cheerio, have sat with kids while they practice their reading at the Murrysville Community Library, in addition to comforting students of Franklin Regional High School when they returned to school after 20 students and a security guard were the victims of a knife attack in April 2014. Read more about that here.
Pet Partners created National Therapy Animal Day as a way to help recognize all of the exceptional therapy animals who partner with their human companions to bring comfort and healing to those in need.
Goals of National Therapy Animal Day:
- Recognize and honor therapy animals
- Raise awareness and educate the public about the role therapy animals play in enhancing the health and well being of humans
- Honor the thousands of dedicated handlers (the human members of therapy animal teams) who volunteer their time and compassion during visits
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A big thank you from me to all of those therapy dogs and their humans for what they do every day.
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