I read 2 articles recently about therapy animals and thought I would give you a brief summary of each. They both are about the use of service animals for children and adults.
The first article was in the magazine section of the Arizona Republic, each week they have a special section called “Wednesday’s Child” to aid in the adoption of special kids. Last week was about a young lady named Margaret that has used equine therapy sessions to learn the power of acceptance. A quote from Margaret concerning the horses is “They accepted me even though I was hurt and I was broken, and they helped build me into a more confident Margaret”. She volunteers at an equine therapy center which has a program to put problem kids with horses and see the magic happen. She is 17 but still is hoping for a forever home.
Canine Assisted Therapy
The 2nd article was in the Costco Connection magazine and was titled “A Pet’s Heart”. The article had many great stories of dogs helping humans but the one I wanted to summarize for you was about a Lab named Nutmeg from Freedom Service Dogs of America. Nutmegs owner and her on a daily basis do animal-assisted therapy with students in special classes. Their goal is to help students be mainstreamed back into a regular classroom setting. In the classroom the students sometimes work to create and then teach Nutmeg new tricks. The social worker shares that it helps the students build up their confidence. Sometimes the students will not communicate with each other, but working with Nutmeg helps them start talking together.
Family Christian Counseling Center in similar ways use therapy dogs to help traumatized children heal and become whole. Helper, a mini golden doodle, is the newest addition to the team and she looks forward to aiding therapists in their work. If you would like to read more about the Center’s use of therapy dogs and equine therapy please click on the links provided.