Category Archives: special dogs and awards

Lola the therapy dog

Lola, as photographed by Nancy Rubin Stuart

Lola, as photographed by Nancy Rubin Stuart

Meet Lola, a nine-year old Golden Retriever, who accompanies her owner, Dr Bodrie of Bourne, Cape Cod, to his office and on Wednesday rounds to one of six nursing facilities.    She’s a certified therapy dog!

In this article from Cape Cod.com, you can read about the Therapy Dogs International certification process that she and Dr Bodrie underwent to make her a certified therapy dog.

Lola and Dr Bodrie

Lola and Dr Bodrie

Lola's official therapy dog badge

Lola’s official therapy dog badge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ike the dog gets a new set of wheels

Ike in his new wagon (photo courtesy of ABC News)

Ike in his new wagon (photo courtesy of ABC News)

Ike is a 15-year old dog living in California.  He’s been diagnosed with bone cancer and so only has a few months to live.  His owner, Risa Feldman, wanted to give Ike as much quality of life as possible and the traditional hind end harnesses for helping him around weren’t cutting it.

So she went into Home Depot to ask for help and two employees there did even better.  They built Ike (free of charge) a new wagon complete with a little ramp so he can get in and out easily (the back end of the wagon lifts down to form the ramp).

Ike and Risa (photo courtesy of Risa Feldman)

Ike and Risa (photo courtesy of Risa Feldman)

Risa says the wagon will help Ike enjoy their walks along Manhattan Beach for a while yet.  Whilst Risa sits down at a local cafe for a coffee, Ike usually has an order of bacon…

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

Source:  ABC News

Dog shovels snow!

The northeast United States has received record snowfalls this year.  And as a word of encouragement to all of those who are sick and tired of shovelling snow, here comes a video to give you confidence:

a Canadian man has trained his Yellow Labrador, Elsa, to shovel snow!

In this YouTube video, Elsa is hard at work clearing snow from the family’s ice rink (yes, it gets so cold and snowy there that families have their own ice skating rinks at home!)

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

Infection control guidelines for animal visitation

The use of dogs in hospitals and other therapy institutions is on the rise, as more medical professionals acknowledge the positive effects of dogs on human patients.

New expert guidance by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) outlines recommendations for developing policies regarding the use of animals in healthcare facilities, including animal-assisted activities, service animals, research animals and personal pet visitation in acute care hospitals.

The guidance was published online in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of SHEA.

“Animals have had an increasing presence in healthcare facilities,” said David Weber, MD, MPH, a lead author of the recommendations. “While there may be benefits to patient care, the role of animals in the spread of bacteria is not well understood. We have developed standard infection prevention and control guidance to help protect patients and healthcare providers via animal-to-human transmission in healthcare settings.”

Guidance is grouped by the role of animals – animal-assisted activities (i.e., pet therapy and volunteer programs), service animals, research animals and personal pet visitation. Select recommendations include:

Animal-Assisted Activities

  • Facilities should develop a written policy for animal-assisted activities. An animal-assisted activity visit liaison should be designated.
  • Allow only dogs to serve in animal-assisted activities, such as pet therapy.
  • Animals and handlers should be formally trained and evaluated.
  • Animal interaction areas should be determined in collaboration with the Infection Prevention and Control team and clinical staff should be educated about the program.
  • Animal handlers must have all required immunizations, restrict contact of their animal to patient(s) visited and prevent the animal from having contact with invasive devices, and require that everyone who touches the animal to practice hand hygiene before and after contact.
  • The hospital should maintain a log of all animal-assisted activities visits including rooms and persons visited for potential contact tracing.

Service Animals

  • The policy allowing service animals of patients and visitors into the facility should be compliant with the Federal Americans for Disability Act (ADA), other applicable state and local regulations and include a statement that only dogs and miniature horses are recognized as Service Animals under federal law.
  • If an inpatient has a service animal, notification should be made to the Infection Prevention and Control Team, followed by discussion with the patient to make sure the owner of the service animal complies with institutional policies.
  • Healthcare providers or staff may ask the patient or visitor to describe what work/tasks the dog performs for the patient, but may not ask for a “certification” or “papers.”

Personal Pet Visitation

  • Pets should, in general, be prohibited from entering the healthcare facility.
  • Exceptions can be considered if the healthcare team determines that visitation with a pet would be of benefit to the patient and can be performed with limited risk. Even then, visitation should be restricted to dogs.
  • The patient must perform hand hygiene immediately before and after contact with the animal.

The authors of the guidance also note that as the role of animals in healthcare evolves, there is a need for stronger research to establish evidence-based guidelines to manage the risk to patients and healthcare providers.

This guidance on animals in healthcare facilities has been endorsed by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), the leading professional association for infection preventionists with more than 15,000 members.

Source:  EurekAlert! media release

Previous blogs about therapy dogs include:

A day in the life of a therapy dog

I love it when we hear about dogs who are able to use their instincts, talents and charm for good.  There is a growing body of knowledge about how the company of dogs can assist with human therapies.

In this video, the pet therapy program at HCA Virginia’s Chippenham and Johnston-Willis hospitals is featured.  Meet Fraser, a Black Labrador/Golden Retriever mix.  Fraser’s canine colleague, Schaffer, doesn’t feature in this video.  But, as full-time employees of HCA Virginia, the dogs receive benefits which include supplies and paid veterinary care.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

An update on Kai

Kai, the dog who was abandoned at Ayr Railway Station in Scotland last month, has found a new home.  I wrote about Kai in the post  A new twist on abandonment.

Because of the worldwide coverage of Kai’s story (which reminded a lot of people of the story of Paddington Bear), there were lots of people who applied to adopt him.  Ian Russell, a self-employed hydraulic engineer, is Kai’s new owner.  Kai will get to travel all over Scotland with Russell, just as Russell’s previous dog did for almost 15 years!

Read more about Kai’s new home here:

Dog abandoned at railway station with suitcase of his belongings finds a new owner – Telegraph

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

Special needs pets can make great companions

(Photo: Sara C. Tobias/The Advocate)

Pickles, a Pug with no eyes (Photo: Sara C. Tobias/The Advocate)

In this story (link below), the Newark Advocate talks about the adoption of pets with special needs and why their owners wouldn’t think twice about doing it again.

Meet, for example, Pickles.  Pickles’ eyes were surgically removed for health reasons but she still enjoys life!

Special needs pets can make great companions.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand