I have been visiting with my Therapy Dogs since 1992. Once I started, I never stopped. Five of my dogs have been certified as Therapy Dogs. My reasons for doing this are many – and varied. I believe strongly in the human-canine bond – that it is healing and comforting – and this can be very powerful for people.
I have had dogs in my life since I was three years old… I still remember the Dalmation, Duchess, we had back then. Dogs have been my constant companions… always there for me. I know that I share my love for dogs with thousands of people. Dogs have moved from being kept outside the house, to being inside the home as part of the family.
Today, when James and I made our Thursday rounds at the nursing home, we met an elderly woman in the hallway using a walker. With one hand, she was patting her chest. And, she kept repeating Oh, Oh, Oh….. Oh, how I love dogs. My husband and I used to breed Boxers. We showed them. They were all Champion show dogs. My heart is broken now that we can no longer have dogs – not even one. It makes me so sad to be without my wonderful dogs.
We started conversing about dog shows. I told her that my husband and I showed Afghan Hounds years ago and more recently, our daughters showed our Setters. I told her that James was a Champion.
Oh my, I love seeing this dog, she said. I miss dogs so much.
This is why we come, I said. We come to visit folks who can no longer have their own dog.
Every so often, I stop and think what it would be like for me to no longer be able to have a dog… I hope when that day comes, that someone will visit me with a wonderful certified Therapy Dog like James.