2012 65¢ Therapy Dog
Dogs at Work
Issue Date: January 20, 2012
City: Merrifield, VA
Printed By: Avery Dennison
Printing Method: Photogravure
In times of crisis, it is comforting to have an understanding friend nearby to share in the struggle. Therapy dogs visit nursing homes, schools, and disaster areas to provide that comfort with a nuzzle or a friendly lick.
Nursing homes were some of the first places to welcome therapy dogs. Interaction with a gentle companion gives residents an outlet for affection and can bring back fond memories of a childhood pet. Regular visits give patients something to look forward to.
Therapy dogs are brought to disaster sites as stress relief for victims and rescue workers. People feel they can open up to a dog or its handler about the difficulties they are going through. In the months following the tragedy of September 11, 2001, therapy dogs were a constant sight at the Family Assistance Centers.
Dogs are invited into schools to be read to and to build the confidence of a struggling learner. Students who have difficulty reading find a partner who patiently listens while skill is improved.
Petting a dog has been shown to lower one’s blood pressure and reduce anxiety. Therapy dogs give emotional support to those in need through a listening ear and a soft coat to snuggle.