|Doggone Cute Therapy dogs Doodles (left) and Bogie (right), with |
Bright & Beautiful Therapy Dogs of Houston, visited the Houston
ARC on December 1, 2015. Approximately 75 students and faculty
and staff members learned about the dogs and what they do. All
photographs (here and below) by Marilyn Goff, Michelle Rava, Ryan
Slattery and Jinu Philip. December 1, 2015.
B&BTD, a national organization with a chapter in Houston, keeps busy tending to the health care of local patients in the largest Medical Center in the world and in surrounding health care facilities of all types. Friends Goff and Lipka (Lipka is also owner and trainer of champion line Irish Wolfhounds) are longtime volunteers for Houston Westie and Scottie Rescue where Susan first taught Marilyn about therapy dogs. In June 2015 Marilyn began the process to bring therapy dogs to the Houston campus library in conjunction with Dr. Hersch’s Foundations of Occupational Therapy class.
Students and faculty and staff members from HCA, Nursing, OT, IT, PT, Administration, and the ARC saw demonstrations of therapy dogs at work, and learned about applications in healthcare; how therapy dogs are trained and certified; and how to initiate inquiries into this type of work. Four TWU students are now committed to launching a therapy dog program, and nursing students who had no idea about therapy dogs were educated about the dogs and their value. B&BTD volunteers answered many questions during the event, and attendees heard stories about therapy dogs who sparked Alzheimer and Memory Unit patients to talk after years of silence. Lipka described an encounter between Bogie (her 4-year-old 148-pound Irish Wolfhound) and a female patient who had not spoken for some time. When the woman saw Bogie she immediately started speaking to him. Nurses called the woman's husband, who arrived to hear and talk with his beloved wife for the first time in two years.
Therapy dogs make a difference!