We have a great time and it so it is worth it to see people smile or know you comforted someone feeling stressed out of sad. The PR for the breed of course is also an added perk. The dogs seem to not be phased by anything we encounter and love going to work. After all, they are truly attention hogs LOL. It isn't only the clients but the families and even the doctors and nurses who also really enjoy seeing the dogs. LOL Steel has several "girlfriends" (nurses who look for him when he works)
When I was a little girl my aunt had melanoma and was in and out of the hospital. My mom would bring me and I got to play the piano for her and some of the other patients.
Not too many years after that I lost my mom to breast cancer when I was in high school. I saw how hard it was for people in the hospital especially if they didn't have friends or family close by who can visit.
I never really thought about doing any volunteer work again after that... Well, until I was at a obedience match with Apache about 11 years ago and they were offering the TDI testing. I honestly had never seen the testing or heard of the org before then. I watched them testing for quite awhile and right before they packed up I spoke to the evaluators who explained it to me. Apache did the test on the spot and past. So, that was how I started out with my first therapy dog...
It was really hard for me for awhile working on the oncology floor after losing Sock-M and then Starlit, but in away it also helped with me get over the sadness...
It is hard not to be happy being around the dogs.
Patch O' Pits Pursuit-O-Perfection
Run Hard at the Rainbow Bridge My Angel Sock-M! I Love You Baby Girl! Now that your Mom Starlit is up there too, please help her learn the ropes, love and keep her company until I can see you both again. Starlit I love you!http://i14.tinypic.com/2a8q345.jpg