‘Train them to love peo­ple’

St. John am­bu­lance ther­apy dogs on dis­play

North Bay Nugget - - NEWS - Michael Chen

some peo­ple be­lieve their dogs can un­der­stand them when they speak. st. John am­bu­lance Ther­apy dogs vol­un­teer deb­bie dar­byson be­lieves her dog can un­der­stand how peo­ple feel.

“ev­ery­body seems to have a dif­fer­ent re­ac­tion,” dar­byson says. “It all de­pends on what they need, what kind of day they’re hav­ing. The dogs seem to know how to re­act to each per­son.”

her friendly black labrador, Jewel, was at the Com­mu­nity Water­front Park this week­end along with Princey and Mia, a col­lie-husky and New­found­land re­spec­tively.

They were out rais­ing aware­ness about the ther­apy dogs pro­gram.

“We’re here to pro­mote our pro­grams with the public and show them that these dogs are kind and quiet and you can pet them and so­cial­ize with them,” dar­byson said.

she said their dogs of­ten go to lo­cal nurs­ing homes and schools, like Nipiss­ing univer­sity and Canadore Col­lege, “pretty much any­where we can sup­ply com­fort.”

The wide range of peo­ple at the tent play­ing at and coo­ing to the dogs seemed to show that most peo­ple can en­joy their de-stress­ing ben­e­fits.

Carol hun­nisett, an­other vol­un­teer, had just one thing to say.

“Treat your an­i­mals well and train them to love peo­ple.”

MicHAEl cHEN / ThE NuggET

Black labrador Mia and her owner Deb­bie Dar­byson were at the Com­mu­nity Water­front Park Satur­day as part of a St. John Am­bu­lance ther­apy dog pro­gram dis­play.

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