Dogs on the Diag (the original event since 2003)
Come out and see how dogs can help people. The objectives in this annual activity are to raise consciousness about and reinforce the animal-human bond with the intent of making the academic, hospital, and surrounding local community feel comfortable with and appreciative of therapy and service dogs and their various roles in helping human beings. In addition, for the past ten years, we have Invited various service and therapy dog organizations (e.g., Paws with a Cause: Canine Companions; Leader Dogs, Therapaws, etc.) to come to campus in October, to interact with members of the community, especially students and hospital patients, all of which is a wonderful learning experience for our campus and surrounding community. We established several venues for dog viewing (and patting) around campus and in the hospital. We also fielded questions as well as offers from individuals to enroll their own pets in the therapy dog program or to foster and socialize puppies until they were old enough to undergo training as service dogs. Conclusions: By presenting positive, detailed information about the training and ultimate helpfulness of various types of service and therapy dogs and by providing "hands-on" interactions with these canines, we have promoted the idea of bonding between dogs and people, both emotionally and as valuable assistants to individuals with disabilities.
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