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Therapy Pets
02-01-2013, 04:16 PM,
#1
Kyla Houbolt Offline
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Therapy Pets
Something I find very inspiring is the way pets of all kinds are used in therapy and healing for humans. Pets of all kinds, apparently, according to this blog post:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/03/...each-other

I've been aware of dogs, and cats, who are taken into hospitals, hospices, and nursing homes, to comfort and help with the healing of human beings, and it's a very heartwarming prospect. I know, for example, that some therapy dogs are being taken to Newtown CT to help the children who have recently experienced such a trauma at their school, so the use of animals to heal extends even beyond healthcare facilities.

I've also known two different individuals who have worked with practices that included horses in emotional healing work. I don't know much more than that, but I wonder if anyone here has any more direct experience with this?

I even sometimes wonder if there is a way I might get into this line of work, although my current animal companions are a bit too wild for the job, at least at present. Smile

Still, I can dream!
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02-02-2013, 05:32 AM,
#2
dziomek Offline
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RE: Therapy Pets
I have also heard and read about people who own alpacas taking them into schools, hospitals and nursing homes. I have a small herd of alpacas and think it would be neat to do that with one of them someday. When my son was in hospital undergoing cancer treatment, there were two different dog owners who would bring their dogs in every week or two. I do believe they alternated weeks, but it was still pretty neat for the kids to see them.
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02-02-2013, 01:59 PM,
#3
Kyla Houbolt Offline
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RE: Therapy Pets
Oh, interesting! I hadn't heard of alpacas as therapy animals, that's very cool. My understanding is that in most of these situations there is some training that the owners and the animals have to go through, and that it all takes place through an organization who oversees scheduling and, I imagine, insurance and the like. Are there situations local to you that use alpacas this way? I'm very curious about this! I can imagine them more easily in a school situation than a hospital, for instance, but I suppose under the right circumstances it would work because I know alpacas can be very sweet animals.

I'm just grateful some hospitals are open minded enough to have begun to allow this, as I know how healing animal companionship can be on so many levels.
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02-06-2013, 05:06 AM,
#4
AnnaU93 Offline
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RE: Therapy Pets
Wow! That's very very cool indeed. I have always loved alpacas and have never thought of them as healing pets. That is truly amazing. I hope that in my lifetime I will be able to own a big fluffy alpaca! Haha. I will definitely be researching more about this as well. Thank you for posting!
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02-11-2013, 04:07 AM,
#5
4sweed Offline
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RE: Therapy Pets
One of my friends used to take her dog to local nursing homes to visit with the eldery people there. And when my uncle was at a nursing home, they adopted his little dog and kept it after he died as the home's mascot. Dogs used for this must not bite and must like all people. A dog that bites or barks, or snaps at people would not be allowed in for fear of injury to the elderly. I think it is such a great idea for those who once had a dog, as well as, those that crave the love of something when no one else comes to visit them anymore.
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02-11-2013, 12:44 PM,
#6
ChanellG Offline
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RE: Therapy Pets
There was something in the news recently about how a woman was somehow able to get her special needs son's pig approved as a therapy animal. Obviously the pig couldn't act like a specially trained dog that helps someone who is blind, but because of the emotional and psychological benefit she was successful in getting approval.
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02-11-2013, 02:27 PM,
#7
jenb128 Offline
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RE: Therapy Pets
(02-11-2013, 12:44 PM)ChanellG Wrote: There was something in the news recently about how a woman was somehow able to get her special needs son's pig approved as a therapy animal. Obviously the pig couldn't act like a specially trained dog that helps someone who is blind, but because of the emotional and psychological benefit she was successful in getting approval.

That's interesting! I once read something about a man who was trying to get his parrot approved as a therapy animal. He had social anxiety and/or agoraphobia (I can't remember exactly), and he couldn't muster up the emotional strength to go anywhere unless he took the parrot with him. He had trouble, because only dogs were approved as service animals in his location.
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