Therapy Pets Do Amazing Things

Many times when Bo and I are on a visit, we will get stopped in the hallway by staff members that want to pet the dogs. They will often comment that they think we’re there only to visit the patients or residents of the facility. That is not true for us. We are there for the friends, family visiting and the staff, too. Some days can be very stressful and difficult for staff members (especially during the holidays). They may have a patient or resident that is exceptionally difficult to deal with that day, or just the type of care they provide every workday.

When Bo and I go on our regular skilled nursing facilities visits we head down the halls and go room to room. As we walk up to each room, I knock on doors and ask the residents if they would like a visit from the therapy dogs that evening. Some will turn down our offer, but most are thrilled to have someone willing to take a few minutes to visit with them. Some faces just light up when they find out we’re there to see them.  Where a couple of the hallways meet is a nurse’s station and a sitting area for residents. Some of these areas will have a television or a bird aviary to entertain the residents and give them a place to relax outside of their rooms.

This evening there was a lady in a wheelchair near the nurse’s station. She was really upset about something and the staff member was trying their best to figure out what her issue was to help make it better. I walked Bo over next to her wheelchair and the lady looked over at Bo. As Bo stood there next to the wheelchair, the lady did a 180 in her attitude. She started asking me what her name was, telling Bo she was “so pretty” and wanted to know more about her. Of course, Bo has that knack for putting that special face on to get people to give her their praises just for being her.

If even for just a few minutes, Bo was able to help. That’s how amazing therapy dogs are!

Make sure if you are ever in a hospital or care facility and see therapy dogs at work visiting, please make sure you stop and take a minute to pet those hard working dogs. Your praise is always appreciated! It’s the best payment these dogs can get! And it makes them so much happier.  Bo doesn’t understand how anyone can walk by and not stop to pet her. It’s the best payment, other than treats, that she gets for all of her hard work!

Jill, Bo & Mya

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