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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Jasmine... the Magic Therapy Dog

Last Friday, Jasmine and I volunteered at the children's hopsital like usual.  Every week is a new experience, but there are a lot of similarities.  This visit was fun.  One room we went into had 4 little boys. (only 1 was the patient.)  Three were on the bed, one was in a chair beside the bed.  They were SO EXCITED about our visit.. It was seriously like a party in there! And Jaz gets energized when the kids are enthusiastic. She was showing off all her tricks! (even when I wasn't asking!) :D  We did our little routine, then they wanted to see some of the tricks again.  (Requests)   Then they wanted to "train Jasmine".  So I had them do the hand signal for High 5, and they were crowded around Jaz all asking at the same time.  Jaz was a little confused who she was supposed to be giving a High 5 to, but it all worked out.  And the adults were cracking up.  Another episode that made us laugh was when I asked Jasmine to "ring the bell".   I know in advance this trick will elicit laughs- because Jasmine tends to keep ringing the bell, even though I don't ask her.  But this time was especially hilarious.  Jasmine rang the bell, and got her treat.  The little 4 year old said "I can ring the bell!"  And he jumped down and rang it.  Apparently it wasn't that impressive that a dog could ring a bell if he could to it too!!   ;)  We were laughing.

The other thing about Jaz that I love- is that she almost has a magical power to make kids stop crying. Later that night, I heard a little girl crying down a hall, so I followed the noise.  The little girl definitely wasn't happy, but immediately when she saw Jaz, she stopped. She just kind of stared. As I talked to her and started showing her some of Jasmine's tricks, a shy smile spread across her face. Her parents said that was the first time they had seen her smile in a while. It makes me feel good to be a part of that. I couldn't do it without Jaz!  She makes all the difference.

Although Jasmine is pretty special... she's not the only one.  There's a ton of good dogs out there that could do the exact same thing.  And there are plenty of opportunites to volunteer and make a difference in someone's life.  Think about it.  Could your dog be a therapy dog?


  1. Hey, just remember, there are therapy CATS too!

  2. That's a very good point! I forgot all about that! Do you have a therapy cat? I've seen them at nursing homes before. Both dogs and cats can bring a lot of love to the people who need it most.