Tina and her dog, Chivas, were visiting PT/OT patients at Children’s on 3rd where they met a young girl who was badly burned in a house fire. She was completely covered in bandages with only her eyes, nose, and mouth visible. As a result of her injuries, rigid scar tissue was forming. She was working with the therapist on increasing her range of motion and Tina had the perfect activity to help. Chivas was set on a table and the girl’s task was to stretch out and place a bead necklace around the dog’s neck. Though this task was difficult and painful, the girl was determined. Chivas made the excruciating activity easier. As Tina and her dog left, the little girl turned and thanked her for bringing her dog.
Tina loves volunteering at Children’s PT/OT center because she loves how the therapists incorporate the dogs into their exercises. The dog offers a new motivation to complete a difficult exercise. The activities are interactive with Tina and Chivas, the therapist, and patient all working together for a common goal: Healing. The dog offers a new motivation to complete a difficult exercise.
When asked why she and Chivas do this kind of work, Tina responded with, “How can we not do this?” Tina goes on to explain why Hand in Paw visits are so meaningful: “we can’t change the patients’ diagnosis or prognosis, but we can improve their day with a visit from our dogs!” If you would like to volunteer with your animal and improve the lives of people in need, please visit handinpaw.org/volunteer