Being a pet therapy volunteer has been an experience like no other. Maggie is a calm and lazy girl who makes a perfect therapy dog. She has visited dozens of hospice patients and brought some much-needed smiles to patients and families.
One patient shared a wish: “I just want a dog to lay at my feet.” Maggie was able to easily fulfill this request in the most literal form as she plopped down almost on top of his feet as he rested in his recliner. The look on his face told a thousand words of joy.
As a volunteer team, Maggie and I travel to patients’ homes or facilities for visits. We receive as much as we give in that the rewards of helping make someone smile is worth every effort. Plus, there is evidence to support the psychological and physical benefits of pet presence. Maggie gets loved on and the patients have a pleasant moment where they may forget their suffering, have improved vital signs, and feel at peace.
–by Polly A., pet therapy volunteer
If you’d like to know more about becoming a pet therapy volunteer, click here.