I love this time of year when I look back over the previous year and reflect upon the accomplishments Bright Spot Therapy Dogs has made. I can’t help but let my mind wander way, way back to 1992 when I began visiting with my first therapy dog Beatrice.
Here in western Massachusetts just a few nursing homes were open to visiting teams at that time. By founding Bright Spot Therapy Dogs in 2004, my hope was twofold: to involve more people and dogs in therapy dog visiting and to open more doors to healthcare and educational facilities.
The energy and dedication of those who have joined Bright Spot over the past twelve years have made what was simply a vision, a reality. Our highly successful Therapy Dog Team Training Program attracts people with their dogs from all over New England, and we have requests from over 175 healthcare and educational facilities seeking our well-trained certified therapy dog teams. We have now certified over 300 therapy dog teams. That translates into thousands and thousands of visits to people in hospitals, mental health facilities, nursing homes, hospice care, Alzheimer’s units, specialized programs for children, schools, libraries, college campuses, and more.
Each year we break new ground, first in healthcare, then education, wellness in the workplace, providing stress-relief on college campuses, now comforting mourners at funeral homes. Our Bright Spot therapy dog teams offer companionship wherever therapy dogs can be of help.
In the month of January, as part of my reflection process, I choose a sampling from the many accomplishments made in the past year to write about for our annual print publication, Bright Spot News. This publication offers our readers a glimpse into the wonderful work this organization does by featuring some of our special volunteers who make this all happen. This process of reflecting and writing deepens my joy of working with so many caring and dedicated people who live our mission daily by sharing their treasured dog with others.
I cannot write about our great success without mentioning our wonderful donors. None of our continued growth would be possibly without our loyal donors who support our mission with the necessary funds needed to strengthen our meaningful programs helping people of all ages.
If you are not on our Bright Spot Therapy Dogs mailing list, please complete the form located on the righthand sidebar of the screen to receive a copy of the Bright Spot News. Perhaps you, too, have a wonderful dog you’d like to share with others, or you would like to make a donation to our work. We would love to hear from you.