I first discovered that COIRE , our 7 year-old Border terrier, was a natural THERAPET when I started to take him on my eldership visits to Gala Nursing Home. In the course of these visits I came to appreciate how important he was in breaking down barriers and loosening tongues! Merely stroking or holding a dog or cat can slow down a person’s heartbeat, making heart-attacks less likely, as well as decreasing stress, blood pressure and even blood glucose in diabetic cases. Therapets come in all shapes and sizes. Some of the best are cross breeds. We recently had the pleasure of being in the company of two Bernese mountain dogs (mother and daughter!) and a whippet at a session with students at the Heriot Watt campus in Galashiels. Currently, Coire and I visit two day centres for the elderly ; the local Chest Heart & Stroke group; Balmoral Primary School and Heriot Watt University on a 3-4 week cycle. As more and more groups discover the benefits of regular visits from a Therapet, there is pressure to recruit more people into the scheme.
This article appeared recently in the Galashiels Trinity Church Newsletter – Spring edition 2016
Article written by Tom Lawson
Picture: Volunteer Tom Lawson and Therapet Corie with the children at Balmoral Primary
With kind permission of Nichola Fairburn. Balmoral Primary School. Admin.