Troupe Member of the Month - Dixie and Dottie
Dixie has been a dedicated member of the PAWSitive Therapy Troupe since 2009. Her Pet Partner and best friend is Dottie, an 11-year-old sable Rough Collie. Dixie and Dottie have been faithful visitors at Fisher House at Hines and Ronald McDonald House near Loyola. They have dedicated countless hours at many different locations at Hines VA Hospital and Loyola Medical Center over the years. They also love working with struggling readers at Hodgkins Elementary School and with young readers at several public library reading programs in the area. Dixie and Dottie have touched so many lives since they began in 2009. Here is what Dixie has to say about her PAWSitive Therapy Troupe experiences:
“The day after Dottie joined our family, our grandchildren came to meet her. Sean, who was 8 at the time, shot through the door and enveloped Dottie in an all-encompassing hug. Dottie just wagged her tail faster and faster. I knew then that I would have to find a way for this gentle creature to spend time with young people.
After months of classes, training and testing, our first visits were to MacNeal Hospital where we honed our skills and bonded as a team. As time passed Ronald McDonald, Fisher House, Hodgkins School and libraries are her favorites. I am forever grateful for Becky and out troupe who have been always supportive and have given me the opportunity to share my gentle girl with so many.”
On behalf of all of us in the PAWSitive Therapy Troupe, thank YOU Dixie for so many years of devoted service with Dottie!!
The PAWSitive Therapy Troupe is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) public charity dedicated to sharing registered therapy dogs with individuals in a wide variety of health care and educational settings--bringing comfort, support and encouragement through the unique healing power of the human-animal bond.
Loyola Celebrates 20 Years of Pet Therapy
For 20 years, the PAWsitive Therapy Troupe has been visiting patients, families and colleagues at Loyola Medicine. These canine caregivers bring comfort, support and encouragement through the unique healing power of the human-animal bond.
PAWSitive Therapy Troupe Featured on PBS's "In the Loop" (May 25, 2017)
What is the PAWSitive Therapy Troupe?
The PAWSitive Therapy Troupe is an Animal-Assisted Activities and Therapy program designed to share registered therapy dogs with patients and students in a variety of health care and educational settings.
What are Animal-Assisted Activities / Therapy?
Animal-Assisted Activities (AAA) share registered therapy dogs with patients or students in a variety of activities such as individual bedside visits, entertaining demonstrations or educational sessions. Animal- Assisted Activities are not necessarily goal-directed, but they are nonetheless certainly therapeutic in nature.
Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) is goal-directed intervention in which a therapy dog is an integral part of the clinical treatment process. It is directed by a licensed health care or education professional with specialized expertise and within the scope of his or her profession. AAT is designed to promote improvement in physical, social, emotional and / or cognitive functioning / reading skills. This process is documented in the health care record by the health care professional or in the education plan by the education professional.
Is there a Difference Between a Therapy Dog and a Service Dog?
Yes! Therapy dogs are NOT “service”, or “assistance” dogs. Service dogs include guide dogs for the blind; hearing dogs that alert their owners to sounds; mobility assistance dogs, which may pull a wheelchair or directly support a person; seizure alert dogs; and others like them. Service dogs are covered under the Americans With Disabilities Act. People with disabilities can BY LAW, take their service dogs with them wherever they go, including planes, restaurants, sporting events, etc.
Many people are under the mistaken impression that therapy dogs and their handlers have the same rights of access as people with disabilities and their service animals. Therapy dogs are NOT service dogs. They are NOT allowed to accompany their handlers wherever they go. Therapy dogs are invited into hospitals, nursing homes or schools to work with patients or students on very specific tasks, or simply to bring their unconditional love to the many people who need them in these facilities. Therapy dogs and their handlers have no more rights of access than anyone with a companion animal or pet.
Therapy dogs are always first and foremost beloved family pets. You cannot “buy” a ready made therapy dog. Therapy dogs and their owners, because of their interest in therapy work have undergone additional rigorous training to prepare them to function reliably in health care or educational settings. Therapy dogs live at home with their families when they are not working.