Troupe Member of the Month - Lynn Hostetler and Dillon
Lynn has been a dedicated member of the PAWSitive Therapy Troupe since 2012. She has had two therapy dogs during that time period. Boo, her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel retired in 2016. Lynn’s current partner is Dillon, an 8-year-old Belgian Tervuren
Lynn and Dillon have volunteered at many different locations over the past six years. They are faithful volunteers at the Bernadin Cancer Center at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood. Previously, they worked with physical and occupational therapists at Gottlieb Memorial hospital on the rehabilitation unit. They also enjoyed visiting with children on the Pediatrics unit at Loyola.
Here is what Lynn had to say about and her PAWSItive Therapy Troupe experiences:
"Most of my visits have been with Loyola Medical Center. We enjoyed the Rehab department for the first two years working along with the therapists helping patients with their rehabilitation. Pediatrics was always fulfilling as the children were happy to see us. The Cancer Center has been very rewarding as the patients and their family are very appreciative of our visits. Dillon is a special dog and he loves to be around people. He leans on them, and puts his head in their laps. He poses well for pictures, too! It’s as if he was made for this. He is a very gentle soul.
On behalf of all of us in the PAWSitive Therapy Troupe, thank YOU Lynn for so many years of devoted service!
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.
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.