Today is #DogTherapyAppreciationDay! As a former therapy dog team with Lola, I’ve seen firsthand how much these dogs can help people. We used to go to OSF Saint Francis Medical Center and then Illinois CancerCare Foundation before we retired. Here’s an old photo from 2010 when we first started!
I was with Alliance of Therapy Dogs for 5 years before Lola and I retired. I miss it and I know Lola would still enjoy it, but it’s hard with a 8am-5pm job and then doing photography after hours and weekends. It was perfect while I was in college at Bradley University, though. It was a very humbling experience to help people find some comfort in stressful and difficult times in their lives.
I was always so scared of getting lost or on the wrong floor at OSF, but I learned quickly how to use the underground staff shortcut to the oncology floor, where I noticed Lola was extra attentive to those patients. When I was offered the opportunity to go to Illinois CancerCare, I jumped at the chance! Dogs truly bring people so much joy and having a vist, giving some pets, and receiving some puppy kisses can really brighten their day and make their treatment suck just a little less.
If you have a calm, people-loving dog, I highly recommend looking into becoming a therapy dog team. I am so proud to be able to say I did it and it was such a rewarding experience. I just wanted to make a post and show my appreciation to all the teams out there making their rounds and sharing their furry family members with others! You’re AMAZING!