Therapeutic dog program needs help
SYDNEY — The local chapter of a national therapy visitation program is in need of a few good men and women and their dogs.
The recruiters are with Therapeutic Paws of Canada, a volunteer organization with a goal of lifting the spirits of people in senior’s facilities, hospitals and other places.
The increasingly popular group is currently short on dogs and their handlers to meet the growing demand for the service it provides.
“ There are a lot of people wanting us, but we don’t have the numbers,” said Paulette Corbett, the group’s public relations director.
“Some of the handlers are younger. They are in the workforce and can’t really give any time until the evening and on the weekend.”
Corbett said the service has brightened the spirits of many seniors through the years. One of her favourite stories is about a woman the group encountered while visiting the Cove Guest Home.
“She loves dogs, but had to leave her dog home. As soon as she saw the dog her face lit up. That just makes your day. The dog sat by her and was as calm as anything.”
She has also seen the program provide benefits to many others, too.
“It is geared towards children, not only with learning disabilities, but a child that is extremely shy or hesitant about reading. Once the child gets with a dog you can just see the confidence building.”
Participating dogs also enjoy the experience, she noted.
Corbett said friendly dogs and their owners interested in getting involved are encouraged to attend the group’s Feb. 21 evaluation.
For more details visit www.tpoc.ca or call 5622792 or 794-7734.