More Golden Moments. Dog Therapy For Seniors and Kids.

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More Golden Moments; Dogs with seniors and kids,

It is a very beautiful, perfect morning here. The sun is already out, the sky is an unusual clear blue and there is a breeze. It is a perfect day to take my two dogs, Nikki and Benny for a walk in the park.

Now, to tell you a little about my two dogs, they are friends with all the neighborhood children; as is my third dog Dukie, who is blind. I know exactly when it is 4:00 p.m., and when school is out. Why? Because I hear loud shouts at my gate: NIKKI, DUKIE, BENNY! And the shouts keep coming till the dogs show up at the gate. And of course, none of the kids know my name, nope, just my dog's names.

So, back to the walk in the park this morning, what do I hear? " NIKKI, BENNY! " The kids were having an outing in the park, and of course recognized Nikki and Benny.

My point being? It is amazing how many conversations I have with the kids, because of the dogs. The kids are great conversationalists with Nikki and Benny around. It's amazing what wonderful stories I hear. And when I talk to them about dogs, about how to care for dogs, about how to behave around dogs, they are always open to listen to me.

Except one winter when the kids were not so happy with my Golden Retriever. My Katie Bear, she is not with me anymore, got loose. And, full speed ahead, she ran down the street, into the front yard of a home day care. There she spotted a snowman, grabbed the carrot nose, and ran back home with it. Well, the little ones were not impressed, and cried and cried because my Katie stole their snowman's nose. Ah, those golden moments.

That very same Katie, while we were visiting the seniors, very quietly stuck her head into one senior's purse, and stole a muffin. That senior was not impressed either. Goldens indeed can be thieves.

But, they are great visitors to those who are lonely, sad; maybe those who need company, but do not want to talk with a person. So many wonderful stories and events come about when sharing your dog.

Check into dog therapy. It is a very worthwhile cause. And, on another note, as always, I am a great promoter of dog training. It is so important for your own enjoyment, for the safety of your dog and for the safety of those who would like to spend time with your dog. I never tire of teaching this. And remember, for dog therapy, your dog does not need obedience training, your dog just needs to be obedient, courteous, and friendly, and safe. Working dogs require good premium dog food and nutrition. Make it a habit to study what is available for your pets.

Let me end with a rather sad, but nevertheless very meaningful example. (I still cry when I tell this story).

I listen to a radio station that once a year has a big blitz to collect money for the Sick Children's Hospital. This year the radio station interviewed a lady with her therapy dog. This dog visits in the hospital. And one day one young child, about 5 years old was dying. That child requested in her last moments to have her therapy dog by her side. And of course, the dog did come, after cutting through some red tape to be allowed in the room. Therapy dogs make a difference; and you can let it happen too. "It's probably the most rewarding volunteer thing I can do."

There are sample evaluations available on most dog therapy institution websites. Also, you can prepare and train the dog yourself. Your dog does not require any special training certificate.

Author: Ruth Bird
My Passions: Pet Health,Dog Training and Dog Visiting.

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