A dog's life...

20th Sep 2011

Keeley Ward, Behaviour Specialist with the Heathcotes Group is the proud owner of Denzel Bailey, a registered PAT (Pets as Therapy) dog; Denzel is specially trained and licensed to work with vulnerable adults in a therapeutic setting and often works with Keeley at Heathcotes services.

Keeley said, "Many service users can feel isolated and have difficulty expressing themselves. Denzel Bailey's presence appears to help some individuals to overcome some of those barriers. His presence often encourages closeness for the individual and in some cases, may gives a sense of home comforts. The unconditional love a dog gives means that people are often drawn to the therapeutic pleasures of stroking a dog."

She continued, "When Denzel Bailey visits, I can see the service users face light up and even if people are anxious, this soon disappears. Studies on how dogs have facilitated communication have been completed and the results show that a dogs presence significantly increased eye contact and voluntary touching of the dog."

Brendan Kelly, Head of Operations said, "Denzel Bailey is a popular and well-liked Heathcotes employee - we're proud to have him as part of our team!"

For more information about PAT dogs, visit www.petsastherapy.org

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