The dogs are made available by St. John Ambulance to provide a moment of comfort and joy to anyone who needs them during these troubled times
What they lack in opposing thumbs, they more than make up for in their ability to give us a brief break from the stresses of our daily lives.
On this principle, thanks to St. John Ambulance, you can access a Zoom call with a therapy dog this month for virtual dog comfort. Before the pandonavirus pandemic (COVID-19), the charity’s four-legged volunteers visited hospitals, nursing homes, schools, workplaces, and more on a weekly basis. After these visits were interrupted, the therapy dog program adapted to an online environment.
The event takes place on April 16th on Stress Awareness Day and Molly, a golden retriever, is more than ready.
Molly has been dating a therapy dog since November 2018 and specializes in visiting senior residences and workplaces such as law firms. Her handler, Shirley Earle, said it never gets old when you see the difference in mood among everyone who meets Molly.
“Dogs give non judgmental and unconditional love, and Molly shows she can go anywhere,” Earle said in a recent press release. “We know that nothing can replace the physical part of our visits, but I hope we can fill some of that void with Molly’s virtual presence at this difficult time.”
During the visits, participants can expect to learn about the dog and their volunteering, learn about dogs’ mental health, ask questions or share their own stories, and maybe even watch the puppy show off some talents and talents Tricks.
According to a survey by the Canadian Mental Health Association, 42 percent of British Columbians said their mental health has deteriorated since the pandemic started. It has been shown that interactions with therapy dogs help reduce stress and loneliness and simply provide moments of undisturbed joy.
Ryan Ward has seen this effect firsthand in the two years he has volunteered at St. John Ambulance with his therapy dog, Penelope. Whether it’s distracting nursing home staff from a long day, escorting seniors, or bringing a smile to the workplace, Ward said it was incredible to see Penelope’s calming effect on people.
“The break from visits is a loss for us and them in both directions. We’re glad we can find ways to still be there, even if it’s only possible through a screen. Dogs have the ability to make their surroundings positive, and Penelope loves making people smile, ”said Ward.
The virtual event will take place on April 16. The 15-minute time slots are available between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Anyone can book a visit, whether it’s an individual, a team at work, or family or friends.
The virtual visits cost a $ 10 or $ 20 donation to the therapy dog program. Visit the St. John Ambulance website for more information.