“It is always a fabulous end to a stressful day at work when the first thing that comes within eye sight is a smiling face and wagging tail popping out around the door…the horrible mood has vanished..now a smile from ear to ear. What if it was possible for that wagging tail to change someone’s world from tedious to a captivating world of new beginnings?…Pet therapy can do just that.”
–Excerpt from a paper written by Ms. Shaina Klosterman, Junior, Germantown High School.
Our Teams, owners and their dogs, form the center of who we are and what we do. It is because of their desire to share their dog with others that defines our purpose. Each team in their own unique way brings the warmth, joy, comfort and acceptance of a cold nose and wagging tail to others. Some of our teams empower through performing tricks. Some engage through playing ball. Some bring reassurance through quiet presence and a gentle nudge. Some bring much needed laughter and joy through silly antics. Each brings unconditional love, acceptance and peace.
Our owners will tell you, “Everyone remembers the Dog’s name.” It’s only fitting because it is through the dog’s presence that lasting impressions are made. But at Pets, we accredit an owner/handler and their dog as a team and we remind owners of the important role they play. The owner/handler’s role includes everything from creating a calm and confident approach, to maintaining an awareness of safety, to recognizing opportunities for interaction.
One half of our teams includes working professionals, retired citizens, students, and entrepreneurs – anyone sincerely interested in enriching the lives of others through sharing their dog. The other half of our teams includes purebreds, mix breeds, champion dogs, one-time shelter dogs, young dogs, senior dogs, dogs with 4 legs, dogs with 3 legs, dogs who can see and even a dog who is blind. To learn more about the criteria to be considered for a therapy dog, visit our training page.
We often hear hear-warming stories from the individuals our teams visit. And while our teams freely offer to share their dogs, sometimes for very personal reasons, they too are often surprised by just how much their own lives are enriched through the spirit of volunteering and power of giving. We invite you to come and meet some of our teams and share in their stories…