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Therapy Dogs Working

April 3, 2020

Organizations around the world continue to explore the therapeutic benefits of time spent with well-trained and amicable dogs. Some immediate benefits include companionship, soothing of frayed nerves, easing of discomfort, and a breaking down of social barriers. People with intellectual disabilities or mental-health issues can interact with therapy dogs to develop their social skills and gain a sense of autonomy. People in emotional distress can gain instant, nonjudgmental support and affection. And a visit from a furry bundle of energy can bring some happiness to bleak situations. Gathered here, a collection of images of these working dogs, bringing care, peace, and joy to those in need. Isabelle Stadella, a young patient, hugs the therapy dog Joca during a session at Hospital Infantil Sabará in São Paulo, Brazil.

Veterans interact with Alaskan Malamute sled dogs during the Phoenix Winter Games in Catterick Garrison in Richmond, England, on March 4, 2019. Kennels from the Alaskan Malamute Working Association have been providing sporting fun and excitement to injured service personnel and veterans as part of the Phoenix Winter Games at the Phoenix House Personnel Recovery Center. A veteran practices ahead of a short course race with Alaskan Malamute sled dogs during the Phoenix Winter Games in Catterick.

Atila, a trained therapeutic greyhound used to treat patients with mental-health issues and learning difficulties, falls asleep while being caressed by patients at the Benito Menni health facility in Elizondo, Spain, on February 13, 2017. The facility, based in a town near the border with France, uses the dogs to help patients develop social skills and a sense of autonomy. Alongside misty views of green, rolling mountains, petting sessions with the eight-month-old puppies have a calming effect, serving as an emotional outlet for patients who struggle to connect with others. David Villanueva, 44, poses with Argi, a trained therapeutic greyhound at the Benito Menni health facility in Elizondo, Spain, on February 13, 2017. When asked what the greyhounds meant to him, he answered: “Care.”

The therapy dog Perry plays with his owner and trainer, Isabel Garcia, after a workday helping calm autistic children during their dental appointments at Los Andes University Medical Center on the outskirts of Santiago.

The therapy dog Perry sits between the feet of a young autistic patient during his dental appointment at the Los Andes University Medical Center on April 28, 2017. Therapy dogs are trained to resist the noise from the dentist’s drill, staying still in children’s laps while they pull their hair and ears.


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