Duo has seen it time and again: Canine friends have a special touch when it comes to comforting patients and families during a health challenge. Because while human helpers can feel at a loss for what to say or do, dogs offer levity, bring joy, and create a sense of calm.
Duo's Touch program (Therapy of Unique Canine Helpers) certifies volunteers and their own dogs to visit hospitals, cancer treatment centers, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities, Their job can be simple (like brightening the day of everyone they encounter) or specific (acting as an effective motivational tool during physical therapy sessions.) The benefits aren't just anecdotal: Research has shown that visits with these well-trained dogs can lower blood pressure, reduce the amount of medication needed, and diminish overall physical pain.
A few details:
- Duo's Touch Program is not breed specific; dogs are accepted based on their temperament and their willingness to be touched and interact with people.
- Dogs must be between 2 and 10 years of age.
- Handlers must be 18 years of age or older.
- Dogs must have completed an adult basic obedience class with their handler.
- Handlers must have had the dog in their possession for at least one year.
- Dogs may not have received any type of protection- or aggression-based training.