A Little Puppy Love Goes a Long Way…

From January 23-25, we are thrilled to welcome the St. John’s Ambulance pet therapy program to St. Brother Andre. Since 1990, this wonderful service has been available for Canadians. Below is an excerpt from the website:

Therapy dog services are provided in a wide range of community settings such as:

  • Hospitals
  • Seniors residences and care facilities
  • Schools, universities and colleges
  • Community centres and libraries

The therapy dog program provides an opportunity for individuals to:

  • Talk with the volunteer and the dog
  • Feel, touch, pet and cuddle the dog
  • Receive unconditional love from the dog
  • Carry-out or practice an activity in the presence of the dog

The program offers many benefits, improving quality of lives.  Some of the reported benefits include:

  • Greater social engagement with individuals/residents talking more, participating more in activities, and smiling more
  • Stress relief and distraction from pain
  • Comfort and calming
  • Improved self-confidence and esteem

St. John’s Ambulance representative, China, coordinator for the Markham area, spoke about how the program has grown significantly since 1990 and that in this area alone, there are 60 therapy dogs available. Today, China brought Tessa, a lovely Golden Retriever, who has the distinction of being the first therapy dog to accompany a victim of crime on a witness stand during court proceedings. Students lined up for an opportunity to meet Tessa and expressed a great deal of excitement about the availability of such a unique program in the school. During this particularly stressful time as students are in the throws of exam preparation, Tessa was a welcome and calming presence.

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Posted on January 23, 2017, in Our Team. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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