Troupe Member of the Month - Linda and Ellie (and Sam)
Linda has been a dedicated member of the PAWSitive Therapy Troupe since 2009. Her current Pet Partner is 14-month-old “Ellie”, Golden Retriever and brand new Pet Partner therapy dog. Linda said goodbye to her amazing veteran therapy dog, Sam in 2016. Linda and Sam were faithful visitors at Fisher House at Hines and Ronald McDonald House at Loyola. They also worked countless hours at many different locations at Hines VA Hospital and Loyola Medical Center over the years. They also loved working with struggling readers at Hodgkins Elementary School. Linda and her new partner, Ellie will bring smiles and comfort to everyone they meet. Ellie has worked hard to fill the very large paw prints of her predecessor Sam. Here is what Linda has to say about her PAWSitive Therapy Troupe experiences:
"Ellie and I became a registered Pet Partner team on, August 29, 2017. I am looking forward to doing visits with Ellie and seeing all the smiles she brings to so many. Our first visit will be at the at the Ronald McDonald House at Loyola. When Ellie meets all the children, she will know immediately that is what she was born to do!
I, actually began my volunteering with Pet Partners, (then Delta Society), in 2009. I started with my sweet, gentle Golden Retriever, Sam. He was also known at Hines, as “Sam the Man”.
What brought me to Therapy work, you might ask? As my mother’s Alzheimer’s disease progressed, I saw what a positive impact Sam had on her. I sought out therapy training for Sam, which led me to the PAWSitive Therapy Troupe and Becky Jankowski. I will be forever grateful to this wonderful group of people, who opened so many doors for me. Ellie, let's get started making smiles!"
On behalf of all of us in the PAWSitive Therapy Troupe, thank YOU Linda for so many years of devoted service with Sam, and now Ellie!
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.