Toby was my inspiration for PATS. He was just a young pup when he was brought to the hospital where I worked. Our volunteer coordinator was the one who trained him and she did a great job. It is hard on a dog in a facility as they are on alert 24 hours a day and there are so many people to care for so they can get very tired. We noticed this with him after about three years. Then there was a hit and run in the parking lot and we had to retire him due to his injuries. He still visited whenever he could and just before his death he visited his old haunts with us. He was in his 17th year when he passed away and he will be remembered as a wonderful friend to everyone. His smiling face is on our logo -freckles and all. Toby’s contribution to pet therapy will not be forgotten. Thank you, Toby. ~Sadey
My friend’s aunt suffered from Alzheimer’s and after her aunt died my friend started doing pet therapy, in her memory, with her standard poodle. My dog, a Rhodesian ridgeback named Teiga, had already passed her CD in obedience, was doing agility and lure coursing and so I felt that pet therapy was one more thing I could achieve with my versatile ridgeback! How unprepared I was for what pet therapy is really all about! Continue reading Volunteering with Teiga and Gemma
I hope these stories will help others to see how much good a visit to nursing and retirement homes with their dogs (or cats, or whatever) does. Pet therapy is wonderful. Continue reading The Newfies: Tag, Polly and Sallie
Sasha is a 10 year old Jack (Jane) Russell, born and bred in the UK. She travelled to Canada with me in 2006 and we resided in PEI. She became a therapy dog by accident in PEI. I had been asked by the Legion to give a short talk at a school for children with special needs. I entered for my first visit hesitant yet curious with no idea what these children would ask or say to me. During the Q&A one of them asked why I had not brought in my dog. They had seen her in the van as I drove into the parking lot. I asked the teachers and they said certainly. Well, the love and attention of these kids really opened my eyes. They were all wheel chair bound but that did not stop them from asking Sasha up on their laps. She loved it and that is how she started.
Here in Victoria last week we visited a Villa. One 84 year old Korean War Veteran, who is bedridden, allowed us to speak with him. Sasha put her paws on the bed and he could reach her ears. He then asked me to place her on the bed. Sasha immediately lay down beside him, rolled over and he stroked her tummy for about 20 minutes, as he shared tales of his life and his dogs. These types of meetings fill me with pride, that we can assist someone even for a few minutes. Their eyes light up at the site of an animal. We hope to do this for many more years. ~Robby, partner of Sasha
I feel like starting this off with “Once upon a time”, as the contents following will indeed sound like a fairy story. I own a cat…. no, that’s wrong, a cat owns me is more correct. About eight years ago, after receiving the news that cancer was to limit my life span to a matter of a few months, my cat, Precious (Norwegian Forest Cat) began to show some concern about my well-being. It was especially evident after radiation therapy when my body was confined to a wheelchair since I was in severe pain from the waist down.
The pain would result in discomfort so severe that the tears would flow. Almost every pain medication was tried, except Morphine. (I would not permit that) None of these worked for longer than just a few minutes. Precious would seem to sense when the pain was at a peak, come to where I was seated, jump upon on my lap, and the pain would vanish. Upon the urging of my wife, this was mentioned to my doctor, in spite of the fear of ridicule. To my surprise, there was no ridicule at all (while he was out looking for the white coat that does up in the back, I left his office!).
About four years ago, I stopped taking all prescription medications. I do not even take Aspirin, The frequency of the pain peaks has not changed and the intensity has not varied, but my attitude towards the pain has moved from anger to acceptance. I have asked medical experts if this is “mind over matter” and am assured that this is not so. Originally, I thought that as my immune system automatically fights the ingestion or drugs, the cat was a mind detour allowing the medication to take effect. But, I do not take medication now and the pain void is instantaneous. My “furry pain medication” seems to know more about me than I ever gave her credit for.
A Poignant Epitaph
Sometimes sharing heartbreak and knowing others understand the pain of a loss helps. This is my tribute to Maude Sissie Connors, Black Lab Retriever (January 29, 1986 – July 8, 2001)
This story is written by Niki, who takes Dad’s dog Joy in the Hospital to visit with Dad. Joy though gets called in to give therapy to others as well. The power of pets is overwhelming.
Do you remember the last time you were sick, or depressed? Your cat came and curled up on your lap and let you stroke her. You felt better, didn’t you? Sadey Guy knows the benefits of the unconditional love of a dog or cat, and witnesses them constantly as founder of the Pacific Animal Therapy Society – PATS, for short. In 1988, after Sadey had retired from nursing she founded the Society to bring the benefits of the unconditional love of a dog or a cat (or other pet) to people who don’t have a pet of their own.
When you’re looking at a face like his, how could you not feel calm already. Ean, the Therapy dog along with his owner Jan Cook stopped in for a visit to our studios in Dryden today to talk about Ean’s day job and what he does with his time in Dryden. While vacationing in Dryden Jan and her husband Don put Ean to work, during the Dog Days of Summer and the Dryden Public Library. While the librarian reads to the children, Ean makes himself at home in the middle of the children to allow them to pet him and to keep everyone calm. While not vacationing, Ean is hard at work through the Pacific Animal Therapy Society in Victoria, B.C. visiting being read to by Grade 1 students, visiting local nursing homes and hospitals along with de-stressing University and College students at exam time. Watch for Ean at Dryden Days of Summer tomorrow, Thursday, July 14th as well as next week for his final visit to Dog Days of Summer at the Dryden Public Library.
I acquired my first Irish (Ch. Kulana Felisha – Erin) some twenty five years ago and she gifted me with lifetime treasures. The list is endless but this would have to be one moment that has been one that I cherish and think of just about every day.
I started visiting at the Priory Hospital in Langford and this one day just wasn’t into going but felt we should so off we went. We had done all the hallways except one with little response from anyone but as we turned down the last hallway a wave from the far end made us excited so we carried on down to say hello. Half way down the hallway I heard footsteps and a lady in her fifties called out and we stopped to chat. Her mom had been in and out of a coma for four days and she probably wouldn’t even know we were there but they had had Irish for years on their farm and I took Erin in to see her. I was thrilled at this request and had Erin stand at the bedside.