Swedish Edmonds seeking dogs and handler for Therapy Pups Program

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    Christi Dudzik with registered therapy dog, Paddy (yellow Lab), retired therapy dog, Ruby (Papillon on lap), and Cozy
    Christi Dudzik with registered therapy dog, Paddy (yellow Lab), retired therapy dog, Ruby (Papillon on lap), and Cozy (Papillon being held), who continues to have no desire to be a therapy dog. (Photo by Ranger Rob Photography)

    Are you interested in making a difference in the lives of others with your dog? If so, you should consider Swedish Edmonds Hospital’s Therapy Pups Program.

    It is a well-known fact that animals can lower blood pressure and promote healing. They provide their own form of tender, loving care, which can brighten moods and decrease stress in those with whom they visit. For these reasons, Swedish Edmonds has developed a program that provides specially trained and evaluated dogs and handlers for visiting patients, visitors and staff, as desired.

    Registered Therapy Teams (dog-handler) are wanted at Swedish Edmonds. Prior to starting with the hospital program, handlers and their dogs must become a registered team either through Reading with Rover — medical badge, www.readingwithrover.org; or Pet Partners, www.petpartners.org

    Newly-badged therapy teams do not need hospital visiting experience. We provide in-hospital training, customized to the individual team’s needs, during the orientation process. The patient populations served at Swedish Edmonds range in age, from adult to elderly. Visits take place in patient rooms, hallways and lobbies.

    The visiting requirement is two times a month, or weekly. Shifts are for two hours, maximum. New teams gradually work up to the two-hour limit. Also required for each dog, initially and on-going: current shots, clear fecals every six months, bathing 24-72 hours prior to each visit, and current therapy team registration with one of the above-mentioned organizations.

    For those interested, contact Christi Dudzik at [email protected], 425-640-4852.

     

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