About MeAbout_Me.html
My EssayMy_essay.html
My PicturesPicture_Page/Picture_Page.html
My MovieDantes_Movie_Page.html
     What does it take to become a Therapy Dog?  Any dog with the right temperament and obedience can become a Therapy Dog.  The animal must be social, getting along with both people and other dogs.  And they need to have the right balance of friendliness and gentleness.  An over exuberant dog could accidentally knock someone over.  But an aloof animal could make someone feel rejected.  
     Most Therapy Dog programs require that the dog be at least one year old, be evaluated by a veterinarian, and be tested by their organization.  Tests may include the Canine Good Citizen exam, which evaluates the dog’s obedience.
     Working with a Therapy Dog is very rewarding as you see an immediate change in the people you visit.  Faces light up, people who rarely speak may start talking about their pets, and employees usually get excited when you come in with your dog.  It’s amazing to see the the look on peoples’ faces as you walk down the hall.  Except for the few people who are frightened by animals, most people respond with a smile and when you stop and allow someone to pet your dog, you usually get a big “THANK YOU.“ It is a wonderful way to volunteer and will make you feel good, too.
     Studies have shown that petting an animal reduces blood pressure and decreases the need for pain medication.  Animals have a calming influence and bring a little bit of warmth into a sterile atmosphere.  When Dante works in the Pre-Op area, I can see patients relax.  Dante is a great distraction and helps people think of pleasant things.  He gives unconditional love - not caring whether someone is old. young. disabled, or sick.
     There are many local and national Pet Therapy organizations that can be found on the internet or through your local Humane Society.  Some programs work as teams, where a group of dogs (and occasionally cats) visit a facility together.  In other programs you go with your dog individually.  Dante and I started doing Pet Therapy with a team, visiting a nursing home and adult day care center twice a month.  It was a great introduction to the world of Pet Therapy.  We then began visiting an acute care hospital individually where we began a Pet Therapy program through the Volunteer Services.  Now that program has 15 dogs!
     If  you and your dog decide to do Pet Therapy, know that you’ll be giving a great gift to many people.  There is no substitute for a warm, loving dog .  Click here for links to some Therapy Dog Programs.  GOOD LUCK!Links_to_Pet_Therapy_Programs.htmlAbout_Pet_Therapy_files/Pet%20Therapy%20Program%20Kaiser%20psf.psfshapeimage_14_link_0

My 500-hour “brick”