Therapy Pets: The Animal-Human Healing Partnership

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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; Philip, 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.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Crawford, a clinical psychologist, and Pomerinke, a professional dog trainer, provide a touching introduction to Animal Assisted Therapy in 23 profiles of people who benefited from AAT. In intimate and enthusiastic short chapters, the authors cover the notable variety of the animals' healing power: two dogs, Tikva and Hoss, console workers at Ground Zero; a 20-year-old pony helps a young girl with cerebral palsy gain muscular control; a seven-pound Brussels Griffon aids victims of sexual and physical abuse. While the book offers a smattering of clinical information, the appeal here is primarily emotional-this is a warm and fuzzy read (sometimes perhaps too warm and fuzzy). Crawford and Pomerinke's writing can become scrambled when addressing the uplifting emotional impact of the animals' abilities; the authors also tend to restate concepts they have demonstrated clearly already (e.g., animals give unconditional love). Animal lovers, though, may be able to overlook the authors' stylistic imperfections and focus on the pleasure and poignancy of the heartwarming stories. The appendix includes a state-by-state listing of AAT organizations and a chapter on how to get your pet started in the field. (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591020714
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 3/15/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 150
  • Sales rank: 1,048,786
  • Product dimensions: 5.35 (w) x 8.31 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Meet the 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.
Karen A. Pomerinke is a professional dog trainer in the state of Washington and the moderator of the pet-advice website
Donald W. Smith is a photographer, website designer, and a retired mental health counselor.

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    Posted November 1, 2011


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