Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Therapy for the Therapy Dog

Animals have a way of connecting people and touching people on an emotional level. It is always so interesting to learn what people enjoy and appreciate about our book On Toby's Terms and Toby the Pet Therapy Dog. In the 51/2 years that we were fortunate and blessed to have Toby with us, he impacted many lives. His job as a pet therapy dog impacted people in the hospital, their families and caregivers, and even people around the world who have read his books. Kate, in her book review, stated that, "One of the ways Toby uses his skills to help people is as a pet therapy dog, and I find it fitting that some of the patients he helps have mental health issues just like he does. It's seems he is helping himself by helping others, which is a good message for us all."
On Wednesdays, Toby's hospital volunteer day, we would often smile and say these days were therapy for the therapy dog. You see, Toby stepped into his purpose and helped others, and in doing so, this became therapy for him too.
Read more about what Kate has to say about Toby, his books and pet assisted therapy at:

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

PAWsitive PAWspective

It seems strange to me that people are always so interested in how they are different from their FURiends. We hear differently, smell differently and see differently too. I don't know why that is so interesting, don't people see differently from one another too?
In On Toby's Terms Charmaine tells a story about seeing things differently. She was feeling tired and frustrated because she and Chris couldn't figure out why I was becoming such a handful for them. I didn't mean to cause them troubles and tried to tell her that by squeezing in beside her while she looked out the window in thought. As I looked out the window I suddenly saw what Charmaine was looking at...a big black bird that needed to be greeted! Of course, that isn't really what she was looking at, it just seemed like it to me. Has that ever happened to you?
We all see things and situations in different ways. We also see different things in each situation. Charmaine saw the outdoors, the other side of the nose printed window. I saw the bird and barked at it thinking it would reconnect Charmaine and I and alleviate an awkward situation. It's a really good thing that Charmaine is the person she is. At that moment, when she was already feeling discouraged, she could have gotten upset with me for barking. Instead, she said, "...might as well look at what's really out there" and she laughed. Rather than focus on her disappointment and frustration she chose to adjust her focus and align her vision with mine. That made for a very PAWsitive outcome. I also changed my focus. I realized that the bird was not what she was focusing on. We both realigned our vision to focus on what was really there, each other.
The next time you find yourself in a difficult situation stop for a second and try to see what the other person is seeing. You'd be PAWmazed at what you will see and the PAWsitive results you will achieve!