Therapy Pets: The Book

Therapy Pets:
The Animal-Human Healing Partnership

Pets love us unconditionally. They’re always happy to see us, they encourage us when we’re feeling down, and their devotion is touching and reassuring. If this is true for the average pet owner, it is especially true for the disabled, handicapped, emotionally troubled, and seriously ill person.

In this uplifting book we learn firsthand how the field of Animal Assisted Therapy is having remarkable success training animals to help and enhance the lives of children and adults with serious medical problems. Hospital rehabilitation programs, physical and occupational therapy sessions, nursing homes, mental healthcare facilities, and hospice programs are just some of the settings where dogs, cats, horses, and other animals have helped patients cope with often daunting medical challenges.

With more than fifty photographs showing the visible improvements that trained therapy pets are making in the lives of sick and disabled people, the compelling stories relate many inspiring incidents of the healing animal-human partnership: six-year-old Brendan, disabled from birth, successfully completes his physical therapy with the help of Zorro, a big black hound once considered unadoptable; Phil, a hospice patient in his last days, finds some joy in the company of a therapy dog named Andy; and Tikva, a Keeshond therapy dog from Oregon, helps to comfort emotionally drained firefighters at New York City’s Ground Zero.

For animal lovers, healthcare providers, and anyone who appreciates how animals and humans interrelate, this is a wonderful, truly inspirational book.

Author Jacqueline J. Crawford is a clinical psychologist at Lakeland Mental Health Center in Moorhead, MN, and the lead author of Please! Teach ALL of Me: Multisensory Instruction for Preschoolers. Author Karen A. Pomerinke is a professional dog trainer in the state of Washington (www.afamilydog.com) and the moderator of the pet-advice website www.greatpets.com. Donald W. Smith is a photographer, website designer, and a retired mental health counselor.

150 pages (photos) ISBN 1-59102-071-9 Paper $18 (6” x 9”) to be published by Prometheus Books, Amherst, NY, in April 2003.

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