Friday, August 21, 2009

"Speak!" Therapy

Therapy Dogs Come in All Sizes: Bonnie the Yorkie & Katie the Newfie

Last Saturday Katie and I visited the kids at Easter Seals.One teenage boy who is both mentally and physically challenged has always maneuvered his wheelchair into a corner to hide when the dogs come to visit.In the past when we have attempted to talk to him he has always turned his chair away from us.During this visit he was, as usual, way across the room by himself when Katie and I were showing a little girl some of Katie's tricks.When I asked Katie to "speak" everyone in the room jumped at the sonorous Newf bark that came out of her cavernous mouth. Across the room a shriek, which was quickly followed by a chuckle, came from the shy teenage boy. I asked Katie to speak again and this time the boy started openly laughing. I walked across the room towards him and asked if he wanted Katie to speak again. Even though his head was completely down I could see his slight nod, so I asked Katie to speak a few more times. Each time she barked he would laugh. At one point he reached his hand out like he was going to pet Katie, but then decided against it. His teacher said this was big step for him. We are hoping that Katie can bring him a little further out of his shell with each visit. Maybe next time he will be able to feel the soft fur on our extremely loud Newf.

A little girl laughs as she dodges kisses from Katie


1 comment:

Bebe Blogger said...

This is the first time I've read this and it brought tears to my eyes! What a touching story. Dogs can do so much more than humans can sometimes....just by being dogs! I hope the boy you mentioned continued to improve and surprise his therapists and teachers. I love hearing about speech challenges being overcome. :)