I work with a girl named Loren. I’ve known for some time now that she does some sort of therapy work with dogs. That’s pretty much all I knew until I was asked to ‘interview’ her for an internal newsletter. What I learnt about her filled me with incredible admiration. Here’s why…
Loren has always had a love for dogs. As she told me, “Dogs have been sent to us for a purpose.”
She belongs to a non-profit organisation called “Paws for People®”.
Together with her Shiloh Shepherd, Willow, they provide animal assisted activity/therapy for motivational, educational, recreational and/or therapeutic benefits to enhance the quality of life for people. Their time is spent in old age homes and hospital visits, specializing in Oncology and Pediatrics. They are also involved in the Pet Education programs at schools to teach children how to interact with dogs. Loren has also just started training on the R.A.D.I.C.A.L. program for children with reading disabilities.
Not only does the therapy work strengthen the bond between Willow and herself, but as Loren explained, she’s also able to share Willow with others. Willow brings so much joy and Loren loves seeing the smile on patients’ faces as Willow gives them the opportunity to forget their pain and suffering at that moment.
Loren says, “I am merely a facilitator and Willow does all the work, whether it be lying on the bed with a patient, taking a patient’s socks off, walking down the passage with the patient or just sitting quietly. What’s important to me is that I have made someone’s day and that I have made their stay in hospital etc… a more pleasant one. I can have the worst day ever, but after the therapy visit I have forgotten all about it. Visiting these patients makes me realize that there are people with bigger problems out there and I have every reason to feel grateful.”
There aren’t a lot of people in this world that have the heart and dedication to do what Loren and Willow do. I think both Loren and Willow are pretty amazing…
That dog looks happy!