by Patricia McConnell
Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) and activities are improving the health and well-being of patients and residents in hospitals and facilities worldwide. Learn how you and your dog can participate effectively and professionally, and join thousands of already established teams in helping others. Lending a Helping Paw shows you which dogs are appropriate, how to prepare both you and your dog, how to avoid common pitfalls, and the art of reading your dog to ensure that the process is enjoyable. Most importantly you'll discover that giving to others can be the best present you can give yourself and your dog.
Patricia McConnell touched on the key points that would be greatly beneficial if one was considering getting involved in animal-assisted therapy as a volunteer. I especially liked her emphasis on the importance of the qualities of a good therapy dog, specifically personality and desire to and natural skill in meeting and interacting with people and dogs. She touched on what I have noticed for years: a great therapy dog knows why they are there, and a great human partner steps back and lets them develop a relationship with the client while constantly reading them both for any sign of discomfort or stress." —Patricia Stokely, KPA CTP