How each wag of their tail makes a difference
By Georgia Thoms
Whenever I see or think about dogs, my heart melts. There is something about these adorable creatures that immediately makes me happy and relaxed. Obviously, I am not the only one that feels this way, as therapy dogs exist just for this reason.
Jean Baur, speaker and author of Joy Unleashed, gave me new insight into the importance of therapy dogs, especially in a school environment.
All the characteristics therapy dogs from their wagging tails, to soft coat, and joy can create an even safer and more welcoming environment for students suffering from anxiety, depression, or self-esteem.
Ms. Baur says that studies show therapy dogs lower blood pressure, heart rate, raise endorphin levels, and even lower cholesterol.
She and her dog Bella often visit schools, hospitals, and nursing homes in order to spread warmth and joy to those in need of a little sunshine.
Ms. Baur has hence titled dogs as “ambassadors of exuberance” for their ability to provide an unspoken and loving bond that we cannot create amongst ourselves.
“This is a species people have been connected to for a very long time in lots of different ways, so there is a deep, nonverbal connection between us and dogs,” Ms. Baur explains.
For centuries, dogs and humans have coexisted and there is a physical and emotional reaction to the comfort that dogs illicit, which Ms. Baur says is the main job of the dogs.
She went on to say that “therapy dogs help students of any ability, and helps them feel fine the way they are,” which can be significant in making high school students’ days that much brighter.