Therapy dogs....what do you think? - page 2

Hi all - I'm a nursing student in my second year and my hobbie (passion really, next to nursing) is/are my dogs, I compete in the sport of agility, I hunt with my dogs, am a judge, I teach basic... Read More

  1. by   jemb
    Therapy dogs are great! I wish we could have them where I currently work.

    My dogs (and cats) are my personal therapy.
  2. by   kids
    In my experience therapy dogs are arranged thru the Activity Director. If possible go to a facility where the AD has actually screened the patients to be visited.
    In the past I have had a couple of completely unable to communicate patients have therapy dog visits. When the family (later) became aware they were (understandably) unhappy it had not been discussed with them ahead of time as their loved one had had a lifetime adverson to/dislike for dogs.
  3. by   EarthChild1130
    I think it's a wonderful idea!! When I did my first semester of clinicals, I did so in a LTC facility that has dogs, cats, and birds living there full time...those residents were so happy, and many more of them were healthier than in other places I'd been.

    I did a little education/therapy with my bird, a greenwing macaw named Charlie, before he was wonderful to see people's reactions to him, and even very withdrawn people would come out of their shells to ask questions about him and hold him, and he was such a gentle, big ol' baby that he loved every minute of it...he died last Christmas though, and I miss him still.

    I do have one dog, a Doberman Pinscher, and her temperament is wonderful...I'm thinking of having her enter the training for therapy work after I'm done with my school...she'd be so good for it!

    I say go for it!!
  4. by   Fuzzy
    I take the dog and the old cat weekly to the nursing home. Both are registered with Delta. The people just love them. They also go with me to the schools when we do the Safe Kids Safe Pets talks. Without the animals, I would be dead or in prison.
  5. by   LeashRN
    Thanks for all the input! It is so good to hear positive stories.

    This evening my dogs and myself went to the hospital for a final screening with the program director - which she is for it seems like all the health care facilities in the greater Cincinnati area. My dogs had a great time visiting the patients/families on the med/surg floors and in emergency waiting. I can't tell you how heart warming it was. We had some people following us down the halls to ask if we could come in and visit! Some patients even wanted the dogs to get in bed with them, which the dogs did gladly. The two of them (dogs) kept looking at me is if to ask "is this really all we have to do? sit on laps, get petted and eat treats?" They were beside their little selves. Both my dogs are small - Jack Russell Terriers. I learned that you always ask if the patients would like to visit with the dogs - you even ask before you get on an elevator if all on board are comfortable with the dogs. The responses from the patients, family and all the staff are amazing! I never realized how much joy my animals could bring - they always supply me and my family with tons of love, joy and laughter (they are insufferable clowns).
    Last edit by LeashRN on Jun 19, '04 : Reason: brain fart
  6. by   dianah
    What a wonderful ministry! Kudos to you and your terriers (and for wise and far-thinking admin to open the doors)! -- D
  7. by   prmenrs
    About 6 years ago, my son was in the peds ICU w/a possible shunt infection. He was about 14 @ the time. After 10 days of antibiotics and having his shunt externalized, we were waiting to go to surgery--scheduled "to follow", so we were still sitting around @ 1pm. The therapy dog came in, and for ~ 15-20 minutes, we had a little vacation. My son was laughing sooo hard, having me put my sun glasses on the dog (a Golden Retriever), took some Polaroids, the dog laying down across his legs--it was a Godsend!!! It really helped us both relax. The surgery went well and we were out of there a few days later.
  8. by   Agnus
    Yes, Yes, Yes. Therapy animals are the BEST. :hatparty: We need more. There really are not enough.
  9. by   Blackcat99
    Quote from Pretzlgl
    Excellent idea! One of the Assisted Living Facilities I visit has dogs come in - and the residents love it....
    Having therapy dogs is a great idea! I too, worked at an assisted living facility and all the residents seemed to love it so much! The residents who were usually quiet and withdrawn would seem to come alive and would be laughing and playing with the dogs. Yes therapy dogs are the greatest! :hatparty: :hatparty: :hatparty:
  10. by   MaryPush
    Not to be a dream-crasher or anything but (as referred to by CHATSDALE and kids-r-fun re: phobias and aversions), please, please, PLEASE don't assume that everybody is as in love with animals as you are. I think it's a wonderful idea (animal therapy), but I know if I was in a waiting area and a dog came in, I'd run as far and as fast as my malady would permit. I simply do not like to be anywhere near animals of any sort. (Maybe I need a different type of therapy!?! <sheepish grin>).
    Keep up the good work, all.
  11. by   1guy2pups
    I was recently in the hospital and experienced significant difficulty sleeping. They claimed it was 'white coat anxiety'. Ha! I didn't have my little dog sleeping with me. He has slept with me longer than my ex-wife and doesn't mind my snoring!