For many of us, stress-relief comes in the form of four paws, lots of fur, and puddles of drool. The Therapy Dog program, a service of St. John Ambulance improves the lives of those who need comfort and companionship. Community Service Coordinator for the program, Nicole Bosh says the dog visits offer many benefits that improve the quality of lives.
In addition to visiting senior’s and care homes, the dogs are a hit at university and college campuses. The number of visits increase during exam periods to help relieve stress. In special cases, the dogs can be found working with police and fire departments, social workers and psychologists during times of crisis.
The program has over 70 therapy dog volunteers that conduct over 600 visitations per year in Alberta.