If you have read any of my previous blogs you will know that last year we adopted a golden labrador called Pebbles.
I love animals but especially dogs.
To me, a house is not a home without a dog.
We decided to get a dog mainly for Oscar.
Oscar loves Pebbles.
He loves to watch her.
He loves it when we go out for walks and he loves it when I take her along to pick him up from school.
She does not charge at him, she is very gentle with him and does not get too close.
It is like she seems to sense that being a bit full on is too much for him.
However, having a dog is a big responsibility and not everyone is able to have a pet.
Dogs smell (sorry Pebbles, but you do), they shed their hair like you would not believe and if you have to take your dog to the vets it can be quite costly (I’m not really selling this having a dog business, am I?)
In the UK there is an organisation called ‘Pets as Therapy’.
These are dogs and also cats who have passed strict assessments and health checks to become therapy animals, as not all dogs and cats are suitable.
Their owners volunteer and take their pets to hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, specialist schools and various other organisations to visit.
The purpose of therapy animals is to help relieve isolation and improve confidence.
- Aid rehabilitation
- Gain/improve confidence
- Provide companionship
- provide a focal point - something to look forward to
- Relieve stress
- Help with dog phobias
- Provide some unconditional love - some people may have been in hospital etc a long time and are away from their own much loved family pet.
There are even therapy dogs that children can read aloud to, to help them gain confidence in speaking in a group environment.
They will not judge you.
They don’t care who you are, or what condition your child may have they just like to be loved.
Isn’t that what everyone wants?
Do you find grocery shopping easy to do with your disabled child?