Therapy Animals Bring Lasting Comfort
It only takes a few minutes with Renee Beymer and her Puli dogs, Sari and Anika, to see the unique care animal visitors provide to residents. Like the interaction above with Renee, Sari and resident, Mike. Renee and her dogs are members of Tailwaggers—a large group of therapy animal visitors who have been faithfully coming to our campus for more than a decade!
Renee was first introduced to therapy animals when her own mother was sick in the hospital. Renee knew then that this was something she would do with her own dogs in retirement.
She is reminded often that being a therapy dog is a special calling. "The dogs have such a sense of what they are doing," Renee explains. “Anika is not a kisser at home. But as soon as she is in a care setting she lets residents hold her hand. Both Sari and Anika love to serve.”
A therapy animal is trained as a team--the animal and the person handler. “It’s more than just expecting your dog to be obedient. The person handler is an advocate for their dog and puts them in situations to be successful,” she notes.
Take an elevator ride. Renee might appear to be simply riding and chatting with another rider. But she is also assessing if the other person is comfortable around an animal and watching to protect her dog's feet as others get off and on.
And like Sari and Anika, Renee loves this work. “I see there is such a need. It allows folks to reminisce about special animal friends from the past. It’s been a real joy for me.”
Director of Community Relations
Hello friends, my name is Kate and I'd love to share with you ALL of the wonderful things happening at Martin Luther Campus. Be sure to check our Blog, Lifestyle page and Facebook page often to stay updated on the happenings at our community!