Ther­apy dogs el­e­vate spir­its

Play­ful pooch Lee­lah is train­ing for a life as a ther­apy dog to help her owner Han­nah Young in her work. The pair sat down with re­porter Jess Lee to talk about the ben­e­fits.

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

It’s no dog’s pup Lee­lah.

The 9-month-old Ger­man shep­herd is em­bark­ing on a ca­reer as a ther­apy dog.

Pet as­sisted di­ver­sional ther­apy takes place ev­ery­where from hos­pi­tals to com­mu­nity cen­tres. Di­ver­sional ther­a­pists run ac­tiv­ity pro­grammes to im­prove peo­ple’s qual­ity of life.

When Lee­lah is fully trained she will go into rest homes with her owner Han­nah Young.

‘‘The res­i­dents just love it when a pet ther­apy dog comes in to see them.

‘‘Peo­ple can pet them or just talk to them, it kind of makes peo­ple come out of their shell a bit more,’’ Young says.

The 28-year-old is fundrais­ing to get Lee­lah a head­start in the ther­apy game with train­ing from ex­pert dog trainer Mark Vette.

Lee­lah will need to learn how to act around the el­derly and will be schooled to place her head in a per­son’s lap so that they can pat her.

Young has no doubt that

life for young

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