People often ask why we volunteer with our dogs. Many of our Love Dog team are retired, yet we still "work" many days a week. I for one volunteer six days a week and then train dogs on the seventh.
While this may seem unusual it really isn't. Many volunteers understand that the currency we receive is far longer-lasting then money.
One such volunteer has just taken on her first private client harnessing her dog's unique talents in a therapeutic setting. After just a few sessions working with this young boy alongside his therapist, there have been so many breakthroughs, this volunteer would work with this child every day if she could.
And her dog is capable of whatever she asks of him.
When you become involved with a well thought-out animal assisted therapy program, the rewards are endless. And the challenges.
What is the goal at each session and how can I harness the power of my animal to achieve that goal?
What is the best method to use to encourage both the client and the animal to work together as a team to realize that goal?
And when that child raises his head for the first time on his own because he wants to see the dog.
Or lifts his hand independently to pet the dog.
Or smiles at the handler with such joy it is palpable.
Or wants to come to therapy because it is now FUN.
Then you know you are truly improving lives one paw at a time.
For more information about Pet Partner visit www.petpartners.org.