The moment a volunteer with a therapy dog walks into a room, you can instantly feel a change in mood. All eyes focus on them, as smiles spread across everyone’s faces. Who wouldn’t love a Great Pyrenees to hug and pet and sit quietly next to you? Countless number of Pyrenees have over the years become a vital part of a hospital, nursing home, or library with their calm and gentle demeanor.
Therapy Dog is an AKC program which recognizes the therapy work performed by dogs based on the number of visits. Therapy work involves volunteers who schedule visits to various facilities and locations such a nursing homes, classrooms, libraries, assisted living centers, hospices, funeral homes, schools, shelters even courtrooms. There have also been Great Pyrenees at many natural disaster sites, helping rescuers and workers alike.
Whether they’re working with a child who is learning to read, visiting a patient in a hospital or a senior in assisted living, therapy dogs and their owners work together as a team to improve the lives of other people. A Great Pyrenees can provide a valuable sense of reassurance, joy, or calmness to people experiencing stressful, lonely or depressing situations or general times in their life.
“Meet Buckley. He is a very fluffy Great Pyrenees and one of the therapy dogs that visit with kids while they’re in our hospital, Children’s Wisconsin. He might look big and tough, but he’s very gentle. 10-year-old Averi, who frequently comes to the hospital to see our GI specialists, loves a visit from Buckley. “His ears feel like a chinchilla’s fur,” she said. At a recent appointment, Averi made a digital paper airplane with him in our Child Life Space in the new Craig Yabuki Tower.
We’re grateful for our volunteer therapy dogs and their handlers who visit often, especially this time of year. Therapy dogs offer positive therapeutic experiences that help minimize stress in the hospital, provide distraction from illness and procedures, and help with physical therapy visits”.