BAJA DOGS PET THERAPY PROGRAM



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By Cindy Crane

On Thursday, May 26th, five Baja Dogs volunteers and two of our Baja dogs set out to Asilo de Ancianos (the seniors’ home) for our Baja Dogs Pet Therapy program.

As we made out way towards the main hall, greeting one person at a time, it took us only minutes to realize how much these people valued our dogs and the worth they were given.

All of these seniors, or at least most of them, have absolutely no family or friends. They welcome our weekly visits. Of course, we are aware that some of the seniors suffer from dementia, Alzheimer’s, etc., and their moods can change from week to week. Some are a little leery of strangers, and, of course, some have had a life-long fear of dogs. Even so, each week the seniors are more receptive to our visits, and actually look forward to seeing us and petting the dogs.

Believe me, if you know how to say “hello, my name is…” and “how are you today?” in Spanish, you will have it made. A gentle touch on the arm and a great smile are both universal, and you get so much back. Of course our dogs were the stars, as usual… being very patient and quiet, letting people pet them on cue.

Simply by being there we gave these seniors a sense of worth and joy; in return, however, we gain a sense of worth and purpose ourselves.

These seniors need to know that more people care about them. So if you love dogs, enjoy seniors, have 1 1/2 hours per week to spare, and would like to join us, please let me know at cindycrane090@gmail.com or 612-141-9903. We go every Thursday from 10:30 – 11:30, and we have lots of foster dogs that we can bring for you to share with the seniors.

If you want to know more about our Pet Therapy program, you can read about it on our website: www.bajadogslapaz.org/pet-therapy.

Photos courtesy of Tom Ireton.

Pet Therapy

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