Animals are a wonderful catalyst for human social interactions. They provide comfort, acceptance and a non-judgmental presence. As such, they facilitate the building of trust and rapport in the therapeutic relationship between therapist and client, making it easier for clients to open up and talk about difficult issues.
Animals change the perception of therapy, making it fun and motivating clients to want to attend and participate.
Animals also help to reduce stress and anxiety in clients. Studies have shown that, interaction with a therapy dog result in a decrease in heart rate, blood pressure and the stress hormone cortisol, as well as an increase in social inducing hormone oxytocin.
Charlie is a lovable, fluffy pure-bred 8-month-old Golden Retriever! He was born two weeks before Christmas and was originally named Eggnog! He loves coming to Brookhaven to spend time playing catch, taking walks, splashing in the river and being brushed and cuddled by all the boys of Brookhaven. He has been working hard on his manners to ensure he will pass the Therapy Dogs of VT certification process. Charlie needs to be polite and gentle in all situations in order to pass his certification process. To help him succeed in all settings he recently began visiting the residents of Riverbend Residential home in Chelsea, VT. This is an assisted living and retirement home for elders. He has become very popular and we enjoy our weekly visits! Charlie is thrilled to be a fun loving, caring and furry member of the developing Animal Assisted Therapy team here at Brookhaven.