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Monday, August 8, 2022
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SERVICE ANIMALS / PET ASSISTED THERAPY

Now, for a short time only, we have in our community several of the world's authorities in animal-assisted therapy — the use of specifically selected animals as a treatment modality in health and human service settings.
They are Pat Gosner and Mary Johnson. Gonser is the executive director of Pets and People: Companions in Therapy and Service. Johnson is an extremely capable computer developer who has a stability problem and is dependent upon her service dog, Anne. Gonser and Johnson are experts in the use and training of service animals.
Most of us have heard of the "Seeing Eye Dog." These specially trained dogs assist the blind or near blind in movement in the home and the community.
Restaurants make allowances for blind persons and their "Service Dogs" because the dogs are cared for in a manner to limit the probability of their carrying disease, and the fact the blind have little alternative.
Food stores, movie houses, etc. have little contact with the blind, therefore, have little experience with service animals.
Over time we have learned to expand the role of service animals to meet the every expanding desire of physically challenged people to obtain independence.
The seeing eye dog has become but one of many service animals serving along side cats, birds, and even iguanas. This menagerie assist the deaf or hearing impaired, the stability challenged, the emotionally challenged, the aged, the arthritic and a host of others including the child dying of cancer who needs a friend to focus on to escape some of the pain.
We have learned that animals can assist the deaf to "hear" the telephone ring, the alarm clock buzz, the smoke detector alert, and overcome some of the other obstacles to independent living.
As our population expands and we gain new insights to handicapping, we are learning some handicaps are simply challenges to be overcome. A very small portion of our burgeoning population is visited with neurological problems caused by stroke, trauma, viral infection, etc. These effects damage the neurological system causing tremors, slurred speech, and instability. Again, service animals have come to the rescue providing that little extra support which makes the difference between dependency and independence. Of course, the animal must travel every where with their challenged companion including the department store, supermarket, movie house, restaurant, and swimming pool deck.
The ever expanding clientele of the service animal now includes senior citizens and senior centers where felines provide both an unending source of love and attention, while also providing a meaningful object of exercise for arthritic members plus a focus of attention for wandering minds.
Whether one looks at the economic or the humane side of the argument, it is far superior to have an individual living a proud and productive life, than shoving them into a closet and paying to have them given minimal care.
For information on service animals and how they function, animal procurement, animal and handler training, support groups, etc. click here or go to www.petsandpeople.org/
For information about accepting service animals in business and on other premises click on the United States Department of Justice web page here.
Most important, for those who feel they may benefit from pet assisted therapy and/or a service animal, contact Gonser via email by clicking here. or mailing to pandp@bigfoot.com. Local assistance will be provided by Ms. Sandra Ellis who can also be accessed at pandp@bigfoot.com
Animals can make your day.

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Now, for a short time only, we have in our community several of the world's authorities in animal-assisted therapy -- the use of specifically selected animals as a treatment modality in health and human service settings.
They are Pat Gosner and Mary Johnson. Gonser is the executive director of Pets and People: Companions in Therapy and Service. Johnson is an extremely capable computer developer who has a stability problem and is dependent upon her service dog, Anne. Gonser and Johnson are experts in the use and training of service animals.
Most of us have heard of the "Seeing Eye Dog." These specially trained dogs assist the blind or near blind in movement in the home and the community.
Restaurants make allowances for blind persons and their "Service Dogs" because the dogs are cared for in a manner to limit the probability of their carrying disease, and the fact the blind have little alternative.
Food stores, movie houses, etc. have little contact with the blind, therefore, have little experience with service animals.
Over time we have learned to expand the role of service animals to meet the every expanding desire of physically challenged people to obtain independence.
The seeing eye dog has become but one of many service animals serving along side cats, birds, and even iguanas. This menagerie assist the deaf or hearing impaired, the stability challenged, the emotionally challenged, the aged, the arthritic and a host of others including the child dying of cancer who needs a friend to focus on to escape some of the pain.
We have learned that animals can assist the deaf to "hear" the telephone ring, the alarm clock buzz, the smoke detector alert, and overcome some of the other obstacles to independent living.
As our population expands and we gain new insights to handicapping, we are learning some handicaps are simply challenges to be overcome. A very small portion of our burgeoning population is visited with neurological problems caused by stroke, trauma, viral infection, etc. These effects damage the neurological system causing tremors, slurred speech, and instability. Again, service animals have come to the rescue providing that little extra support which makes the difference between dependency and independence. Of course, the animal must travel every where with their challenged companion including the department store, supermarket, movie house, restaurant, and swimming pool deck.
The ever expanding clientele of the service animal now includes senior citizens and senior centers where felines provide both an unending source of love and attention, while also providing a meaningful object of exercise for arthritic members plus a focus of attention for wandering minds.
Whether one looks at the economic or the humane side of the argument, it is far superior to have an individual living a proud and productive life, than shoving them into a closet and paying to have them given minimal care.
For information on service animals and how they function, animal procurement, animal and handler training, support groups, etc. click here or go to www.petsandpeople.org/
For information about accepting service animals in business and on other premises click on the United States Department of Justice web page here.
Most important, for those who feel they may benefit from pet assisted therapy and/or a service animal, contact Gonser via email by clicking here. or mailing to pandp@bigfoot.com. Local assistance will be provided by Ms. Sandra Ellis who can also be accessed at pandp@bigfoot.com
Animals can make your day.