The Joys of Pet Therapy…and the Story of Shiloh

pet therapy

Ever wonder about becoming involved with pet therapy? What is it like? How can it make a difference? Would my dog be good at it?

Therapy dogs come in all shapes, sizes, and breeds, including both purebreds and mixed breeds. If your canine is well-mannered, well-behaved, and enjoys meeting people; volunteer pet therapy is a wonderful way to share your dog with others, bring joy, and make a difference in your community.

Pet therapy visits always brings a smile. And sometimes, they even inspire miracles. Like the time Shiloh, a loveable Australian Labradoodle and Canine Therapy Partners member (picture below), inspired a nursing home patient, who hadn’t spoken in days, to suddenly start speaking. Before meeting Shiloh, she looked blank and lifeless, but as
soon as she saw Shiloh her face lit up, and she immediately began speaking! So much
that the facility director started taking video to share with the woman’s children,
knowing how delighted they would be. Shiloh, and her handler, got to experience the
pure joy of bringing love, and transforming a tough situation into a good one.Shiloh

Therapy dogs share smiles and joy with everyone they visit. Whether they’re providing furry love to stressed-out college students, being attentive listeners for young readers at the library, comforting hospital patients, bringing a smile to the faces of nursing home residents, or brightening the day of weary travelers at the airport, therapy dogs make a world of difference just by being there.

Pet therapy volunteers will tell you that doing pet therapy is some of the most rewarding work they’ve ever done. They meet interesting people, and get to watch their pets make a huge difference in the lives of others. This is what this is all about, bringing more comfort, joy and happiness to those around us in need.

Canine Therapy Partners-WNC is a member of Alliance of Therapy Dogs (ATD), a national organization that provides testing, certification, registration, support, and insurance for its members. Canine Therapy Partners members visit a wide variety of facilities
throughout Western North Carolina, including nursing homes, rehab and adult
care facilities, hospitals, schools, libraries, and the airport.

If you’d like to find out more about visiting opportunities, partner with other therapy dog teams, and participate in dog-related community events, we invite you to join us. If your dog is not yet ATD certified, we offer testing and would be happy to help you get started.

Be sure to stop by and see us at the Angel Pets Expo 2020 (May 2nd, 2020 at WNC AG Center), where you can meet our members and their certified therapy dogs, learn more about pet therapy, get your questions answered, and join us in making a difference in the
community with your dog.

Article submitted by Debbie LaChusa, a certified dog therapy volunteer of Canine Therapy Partners-WNC is a member of Alliance of Therapy Dogs (ATD) for the Angel Pets Expo 2020 blog. Contact the group at or visit for more info.

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