Those of us who
have pets probably know this instinctively, but science has borne it out as well: Pets
are good for us!
In fact, in a recent Mayo Clinic Oasis story on pets and
health, Oncologist Edward T. Creagan, MD -- who happens to own a 3-legged Golden Retriever
named Brinkley -- spoke about the documented health rewards of pets, citing study after study
that showed both the emotional benefits, such as reducing depression -- and the physiological
benefits, such as reducing blood pressure and cholesterol.
But for people in hospitals, nursing homes, group homes, and many other
institutions, interaction with pets is often either non-existent or severely limited.
Thankfully, pet therapy organizations are out there, filling the void and bringing pets to
the people who may need them most.
There are many ways to get involved in this very worthwhile and rewarding
process. Here are just a few of the avenues you can explore in NJ.
with The Delta
Society, a nationally recognized pet therapy
in Madison hosts
day long workshops that introduce people to the pet therapy
concept, and also hosts follow up aptitude evaluation
days for people and their dogs that can result in certification
and placement assistance for
qualified dog/handler teams.
and Beautiful Therapy Dogs, Inc. in Morris Plains offers evaluation, testing, training
and certification for you and your dog.
Inc. in Flanders also offers testing and certification
for you and your dog.
To learn more
about what makes a good therapy dog, and meet some of the many Goldens and their owners who
are out there making a difference, visit Golden