Unconditional Love on Four Paws
“Visiting people who are away from home or in unfamiliar surroundings seems to be especially helpful to reduce anxiety and provide the comfort and unconditional love that only a pet can provide … I think many of your clients enjoy having a bit of the unconditional love that my dogs bring with them on their four hairy paws.” ~Love on a Leash Volunteer
According to UCLA Health, therapy dogs can help lower blood pressure, decrease anxiety, and decrease overall physical pain.
Once a month, local volunteers from the nationwide organization called Love on a Leash come to our shelter and bring their licensed therapy animals to play with our clients.
Larry Gramling, co-founder of the Northwest Arkansas chapter of Love on a Leash, said that, “Therapy animals provide a sense of comfort, building victims’ confidence and trust, which aids in their recovery.”
A Need for Normalcy
“Animals have a powerful way to calm and settle anxiety in humans, if just for a short time. NWAWS seemed like a very natural fit to what I wanted to do with my dog. I have watched people in many different circumstances light up when my dog approaches them, and I’ve watched their mood change almost instantly when petting them. Plus, my dog Obi loves children, and,generally, children love him. There are almost always children at [the NWAWS,] and as my children are grown with children of their own, I felt especially drawn to them and their need for normalcy.”