Sept. 11 is National Grandparents Day and Splash and Dash for Dogs wants to Help You and Your Dog get Included Through Therapy Organizations
With September in full swing the more relaxing holidays begin. After Labor Day, there is National Grandparents Day–a day Splash and Dash for Dogs wants to shed light on. The day began with Marian McQuade, a housewife in Fayette County Virginia. McQuade was a pioneer in elderly assistance and wanted to champion the causes of lonely elderly in the early 20th century. The Virginia native also wanted grandchildren to have a bridge to the wisdom of the past. In 1970 President Jimmy Carter declared the first Sunday after Labor Day to be National Grandparents Day, and the U.S. has been celebrating ever since.
But how do pet owners get involved in this holiday? Therapy Dogs.
In the 1980’s therapy dog organizations began establishing like the Alliance of Therapy Dogs and Love on Leash. Therapy dogs are a great service to use when visiting grandparents who live in facilities that would otherwise prohibit dogs. These organizations designed their services around providing staff members to visit elderly, sick, or otherwise lonely people to have healthy interaction and playtime with loving dogs. Even college campuses are bringing therapy dogs on campus before exams. A list of local dog therapy organizations by region is available through the American Kennel Association\’s website if you wish to schedule a therapy dog to visit with your grandparents.
For those interested in becoming a proprietor of therapy dogs the best way to get involved is to participate in Alliance of Therapy Dogs (formerly Therapy Dogs,inc). Prospective members must get involved with the organization to conduct a supervised test with a trainer/observer and your dog. Once this is completed, 3 supervised visits with your dog interacting with a stranger must also be completed to the satisfaction of an ADT trainer/observer. Once a member is in good standing with the ATD for six months, they will be eligible to become a trainer/observer. Splash and Dash For Dogs recommends dogs that are friendly, docile, and very well trained.
Becoming a member list:
- Personable to public
- Patience with people and dogs
- Fluency on animal training and behavior
- Experience training or assisting with dogs and elderly
- Experience fostering or reforming dogs
- Adherence to ATD Rules and Regulation
- Filled out ATD Member Application
- Release and Claims Forms
- Current Year ATD test
- Any breed or mix-breed is eligible
- At least 1 year age required
- Proof of negative fecal exam within a year
- Rabies vaccination
- Physical veterinarian exam within a year
Whether you want to become more involved with the ATD, schedule a visitation, or just want to bring the family dog over to your loved one’s for Grandparent’s Day, it will be not only a cherished visit, but a healthy one. Literally, healthy!
Studies have shown that time spent with dogs helps the body produce oxytocin–a stress reducing hormone–and increases production of cortisol–the stress inducing hormone. According the American Heart Association (AHA), dogs have been proven to help patients with high-blood pressure maintain healthy readings, and survivors of a heart attack have increased odds of maintaining health. Dogs have also been helpful with Alzheimer’s patients. An Italian research study showed evidence that animal interaction activities is beneficial for memory retention and overall happiness.
Dog is humankind’s best friend, so bring your best friend over to your Grandparent’s place for this loving and historic holiday!