Troupe Members of the Month - Barb Kann & Evie
Barb Kann has been a member of the PAWSitive Therapy Troupe since 2002. She has more than 14 years of service as a dedicated volunteer with her beloved rescue Shetland Sheepdogs Andy and Mikey. Barb’s current Pet Partner is Evie, an 8-year-old rescue Sheltie. They are faithful visitors at Hines VA Hospital in Outpatient Psychiatry and at Villa St Benedict Senior Home. Evie also loves working with children in the “Read With Me” programs at Ann M Jeans Elementary School in Willowbrook and Hodgkins Elementary School in Hodgkins. Here is what Barb has to say about her partner, Evie:
“Evie is an 8-year-old Shetland Sheepdog who we adopted in 2009. She is following in the footsteps of our two older shelties who were also rescues and therapy dogs. Evie has been doing therapy visits for two and a half years, regularly going to Hines VA Hospital, Villa St. Benedict and Ann Jeans School where she particularly enjoys listening to the stories the children read to her. With her love of attention by those people she meets and being petted to calm those who need it is always a pleasure to be able to brighten someone's day.”
On behalf of all of us in the PAWSitive Therapy Troupe, thank you Barb for your 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.
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.
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.