We’ve all heard the saying, “dogs are man’s best friend.” Regardless of your gender, the bond between humans and dogs is a remarkable one. They never seem to care what you look like or if you’re in a bad mood, just so long as they’re able to spend time with you. They truly seek nothing other than the love and affection of their family.
Dogs are incredibly intuitive and perceptive animals. At times it seems as though dogs know what their guardian is feeling before they do. We’ve all experienced the kind of love a dog can provide for a family, but therapy dogs, in particular, help a wide array of people, often complete strangers.
The relationship between therapy dogs and their humans is both beautiful and inspiring. Across the world, therapy dogs have helped humans to overcome illness, disabilities and countless other hardships, thanks to their love and compassion.
To illustrate the amazing, unconditional care that therapy dogs provide for people in need, let’s take a look at some incredible dogs and their people.
Dogs have a sense of smell that is one million times that of ours, which is one of the factors contributing to the hundreds of cases of dogs alerting their owners to fires or intruders over the years.
When all is said and done, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that our canine friends are often trained and certified as therapy dogs.
Therapy dogs are brought to nursing homes, hospitals, rehabilitation centers and detention facilities to bring comfort and lift the spirits of those they’re interacting with.
What the therapy dog provides depends on the specific needs of the individual.
The goal is that the interaction with the dog will invoke positive feelings that can help people on their road to recovery.
There is no breed discrimination when it comes to therapy dogs as long as they’re able to pass the specific training courses required prior to certification.
In order to become certified, therapy dogs must pass basic obedience as well as relaxation and control sessions.
They must be familiarized with a vast array of situations and people, including distraction training, all while proving capable of maintaining a positive temperament.
Therapy dogs can help Autistic children who are struggling to learn to read or verbalize their feelings, by just being a calming, non-judgmental presence who is always willing to listen.
Anyone who has cared for a dog knows how soothing and comforting just having them around can be. It’s no wonder therapy dogs are so effective in helping people.
The beauty of the relationship between therapy dogs and humans is certainly something we can all celebrate.
Lead image source:UCI/Flickr