Sign In

Harvey Therapy Dog

July 3, 2020

 

At 10 weeks of age, puppy Harvey is the youngest team member at Integrated Disability Support Service in Bundaberg.

But there are a couple of differences between Harvey and others who work there. Harvey has four legs, a wagging tail and is the organisation’s therapy dog.

Director at Integrated Disability Support Service in Bundaberg, Kahli Olesen, said Harvey has been a hit with clients and residents.

“Harvey has been with us at IDSS for a week and he is off to the first stages of training next month,” Kahli said.

“After that he will go into a therapy puppy training program, which will take about 12-18 months before he is fully qualified.

“Right now, he is being a good little puppy and giving puppy support to everyone who walks through our doors.”

The brown boisterous pup provides emotional support, an adorable puppy face, and two floppy ears to listen to clients, residents and staff.

“He is quite calming for many of our residents and they find a lot of joy in playing with him and patting him, and because he is so soft and fluffy it’s fantastic for our clients who have anxiety or stress related conditions, because patting a dog has been shown to be particularly therapeutic,” Kahli said.

Integrated Disability Support Service is a registered NDIS provider which offers services for children and adults and provides continuous, reliable support to those isolated and vulnerable.

Kahli said IDSS jumped on the idea with research showing therapy dogs can reduce stress and provide a sense of connection in difficult situations.

“Harvey is a Tamaruke and they are specifically bred as therapy and assistance animals; they’re hypoallergenic, they don’t shed, well-tempered and very intelligent and easily trained,” Kahli said.

“I have a background in psychiatric nursing and as part of that we had animal therapy, so as IDSS grew we identified a need for it here.

“Everyone knows that when you have a pet it reduces your anxiety, your stress and it has a lot of psycho physiological effects on the body, so it reduces all those cortisol levels and releases happy endorphins.”

“In all the unknown of COVID, we thought it was a great opportunity for our residents to have something in their lives that is a constant, and animals definitely offer that.”

Register Your Dog

  • Most Recent News

    Students Get Therapy Dog

    When middle school students return to class on Jan. 11, they’ll find a new face at the door: Daisy. Daisy is a therapy dog and the personal pet of Rob Kreger, principal of the Rock L. Butler Middle School. The five-year-old golden retriever is not a school pet or mascot, but rather a working dog […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dogtor

    Last March, Caroline Benzel, a third-year medical student, began to notice the stress and discomfort her nurse friends were feeling from the pressures of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. “[Personal protective equipment] can be really rough on the skin,” Benzel, 31, tells PEOPLE. Benzel and her 3-year-old Rottweiler, Loki (who’s also a therapy dog) hatched a […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dog Pups

    When Stanley the miniature fox terrier’s owner passed away, the little dog started a ‘paw-some’ new role – bringing puppy love to some of the Gold Coast’s oldest residents. After Carinity Cedarbrook Diversional Therapist Julianne Staff adopted Stanley, he began visiting the aged care community at Mudgeeraba as a therapy dog. Therapy dogs help to […]

    Read more

    Puppy Cams

    A nonprofit is providing an unusual form of therapy for those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic – puppy cams! “You spend five minutes with a puppy and try not to smile,” said registered nurse Robin Lingg Lagrone. Lingg Lagrone says watching little furballs wag their tails and prance on their paws helps […]

    Read more

    Pet Committee

    When Moore County’s school doors were abruptly closed earlier in 2020, two- and four-legged volunteers from the Moore County Citizens’ Pet Responsibility Committee (PRC) were in their 12th year of presenting a six-session Pet Responsibility Education Program for fourth-graders. The PRC quickly shifted gears and placed its program materials online as part of a home […]

    Read more

    The Right Rescue Dog

    If your New Year’s resolution is to add a canine family member, good for you. Somewhere out there is the perfect puppy or adult dog for your family. You have a lot of things to think about when you begin to look for that new family member, puppy or dog? Large or small? Purebred or […]

    Read more