There are many different kinds of animals now becoming assistants to therapists or working
as therapy animals to support community in different ways.
Animals in general are very healing by nature. I have worked with therapy dogs over the last 15 or so years. What constitutes a therapy dog.
Temperament – they need to be able to relax with the client, have a calming nature, settle easily.
Responsive – to Commands and gestures from the therapist. Work with the direction of the therapist throughout the session.
Intuitive - Therapy dogs are very intuitive, they smell and feel stress, anxiousness, depression, trauma, PTS, PTSD as well as chronic health disorders.
A day with Bonnie in therapy is where she greets the client, and often shows her toys and offers comfort in her own way.
Bonnie Lays next to stressed or anxious clients, if the client allows she will lay on their lap, heavy like a blanket and just support them.
Over the years I have had clients say to me that just feeling her coat, her warmth on their lap, that look in her eyes makes them feel happy and relaxed.
I have had both adults and children say before they met Bonnie they were usually unsettled with dogs. Isn’t it wonderful that no words are spoken and they connect naturally with the client’s feelings and build on supporting the client into change.
When I take a client into trance, bonnie gets down off their lap, lays close by and seems to go into a trance of her own. Once they are fully reoriented, she goes back to connect with them again.
I think the greatest compliment I have had relevant to her was from my GP, who refers clients to me. She said “the first thing the client talks about after they have seen you is Bonnie”. It reminds me of how special it is to have a Therapy dog in my practice.