Sign In

Therapy Dogs Missing Human Interaction

May 19, 2020

Just like many humans are missing social-interaction right now, therapy dogs are also feeling a little lonely. Some local hospitals have had visitor restrictions in-place since mid-March, unfortunately, it’s times like these where furry friends are particularly needed.

“If I take him for a ride and we drive by a hospital, he gets all squirmy and he thinks we’re going to the hospital and we’re not and he really feels bad when we pass the hospital. You can tell how he acts,” said Bob Feuer, owner of a therapy dog named Teddy. Teddy has been a therapy dog for at least 10 years.

Social-distancing laws are taking a toll on everyone but for therapy dogs like Teddy, interacting with others to brighten someone’s day is all he knows.

“Currently we’re not allowed to go into any facility, whether it be a nursing home, hospital, anything,” said Feuer. “It’s just too much of a chance of one of us catching it and they’re not sure if the dogs can transmit it.”

Teddy would visit hospitals every Monday through Friday before the pandemic. IU Health Nurse Stefanie Ridoutt, who’s currently working the COVID-19 floor, said many hospital workers are feeling the difference of not having these dogs around.

“They’re just as helpful to the staff as they are to the patients,” said Ridoutt. “There’s a lot of sadness that can happen between these walls you know, they just brighten everyone’s day.”

Caroline Hanson’s therapy dog Henry has been visiting local hospitals for four years. But as her dog is feeling these social distancing effects, so is she.

“I really miss it,” said Hanson. “The interactions with people and watching my dog bring smiles to people’s faces is really amazing.”

Feuer is worried about the long-term effects this distancing could have on therapy dogs. Right now he’s looking into temporary solutions.

“Maybe even get the dogs in our cars with the windows up and maybe drive around the hospital so maybe nurses and all can see the dogs, that might help a little bit,” said Feuer. “It’s not the same thing as being able to give a pet and everything but if there’s something we could do in the meantime we’d love to do it.”

Register your Dog Schedule a Visit

  • Recent News

    Pet Therapy Program

    Saturday, October 10 is World Mental Health Day, which this year has a new sense of urgency for many. Covid-19 has taken a mental and emotional toll on healthcare workers across the U.S but there is a program boosting the spirits of doctors and nurses on the frontlines. At UC Irvine Medical Center in Southern […]

    Read more

    AMR Therapy Dog

    Rampart, a therapy dog with American Medical Response San Bernardino County, recently passed his Certified Therapy Dog exam. AMR acquired Rampart, a 1½-year-old goldendoodle, when he was 10 weeks old. Rampart started basic obedience classes when he was 4 months old and continued through advanced obedience classes, according to a news release. When he was […]

    Read more

    Workers Get Canine Interactions

    It was a long, boring spring and summer for the four-footed members of the Alliance of Therapy Dogs, who couldn’t visit nursing homes and hospitals giving tail wags and doggy smiles. The coronavirus paused the professional canine therapeutic interactions with patients and hospital workers. “You could actually see him falling into a depression at home,” said Wendy Kadish of […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dog Program

    An initiative by Cyndy Caravelis, associate professor of criminology and criminal justice at Western Carolina University, will include a pilot program to use a therapy dog to aid domestic violence victims and their families in Jackson County. Caravelis’ German shepherd Atlas will escort victims and family members into court procedures and stay with children while […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dogs Working With Staff

    After a pause due to COVID-19, the St. John Ambulance Abbotsford therapy dog team recently returned to visit staff at several different correctional facilities in the Fraser Valley. The PAWS inside program originally began at the Alouette Correctional Centre for Women five years ago and started off by providing services to inmates. Last year, the […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dog Bringing Comfort

    The Marion County Sheriff’s Office has a special K-9 who plays an important role. While most K-9s help in crime scenes and investigations, Comfort Caj is crime therapy dog and brings smiles to the community and the sheriff’s office. “He really brings a light and energy to this whole building, that you can’t fathom, you […]

    Read more

    Montgomery County's Therapy Dog

    Montgomery County has a new tool to help give crime victims some support. That tool’s name is Zurg. Zurg is the new therapy dog for the Montgomery County district attorney’s office. Montgomery County District Attorney Daryl Bailey introduced Zurg as the newest member of the team Monday. Coming from Canine Companions for Independence, Zurg will […]

    Read more