SLODOGs’ Caring Canines is a Therapy Dog group of members
In giving what we call,
"Therapy From The Heart.”
Once a month we and our approved dogs visit greater San Luis Obispo
area facilities to spread a little cheer and joy to the ill, elderly and
institutionalized, studies confirm what we've seen: that such visits
improve residents' mental and physical health and well-being.
The Activity Director at Country Care Convalescent Home in Atascadero,
wrote in a letter of thanks to SLODOG, "We so much appreciate all the
time, effort and love that you show our residents. They enjoy the dog
visits immensely, especially when (the dogs) are dressed for (a) holiday
occasion. Please know we are so glad to have you visit our residents.…
God bless you all."
The sight of our dogs, the touch of their soft coats, the canine way of leaning in for just one more pat or two — It awakens in the residents fond memories of pets they've had. of ones they've Had to leave behind. Suddenly we're old friends. Residents tell us about their lifetime of pets and ones they've known; others don't say a word to us but talk to the dogs; still others say nothing at all while they stroke the head of a dog sitting next to their chair, and some doze off with their hand still on the dog's head, the dog's muzzle resting on their thigh.
We have occasionally assisted physical therapists to expand on the benefits of our visits. Adding a dog into
the mix can completely change a patient's attitude toward ball-throwing and other exercises.
Research shows that a few minutes of stroking a dog can:
• Decrease Cortisol, the stress hormone in both the human and the dog.
• Increases Prolactin and Oxytocin, hormones that govern nurturing and security, as well as Serotonin and Norepinephrine, the neurotransmitters that boost mood.
Studies further suggest that the relationship between animals and humans can...
• Improve balance, coordination, mobility, muscular strength, and posture in developmentally challenged children and adults.
We're committed to helping develop nurturing behaviors and humane attitudes toward animals by exposing facilities and patients to responsible dog owners and making sure we leave each facility better off than when we arrived. Many residents and caregivers have remarked how appreciative they are of our visits and how everyone looks forward to Caring Canines' visiting day.
THERAPY DOG PROGRAM
For more information and package to join Caring Canines see FORMS & RULES