Animal assisted therapy is not to be taken lightly. It is not just bringing dogs into an environment. It is about building trust as everything begins with trust.
The clients must trust that the handler knows the dog so well it inspires confidence.
The dog must trust the owner to take care of him and lead with confidence and joy.
The facility must trust the program they partner with to make the right matches and provide value-added experiences for their population.
In many cases, when the teams meet with the same people over time, trust allows so much more to be accomplished that ever predicted.
Such is the case with Julian and Benny.
The dog that was so misunderstood, returned to a rescue several times his first year of life, living with so many challenges, found the boy of his dreams.
Julian, the child so misunderstood, experiencing life through a different set of senses, found his dog.
Once the trust was cemented anything could be attempted.
Today we brought Benny's new toy, a canine puzzle game and Julian did an outstanding job playing with Benny. He had to get very close to set it up and then even closer to help Benny achieve the goal.
At one point boy and dog just relaxed and rested together.
What could possibly say "trust" more than a little boy who was once afraid of dogs, leaning on the dog who has become his best friend?