In 2007, Mary Eldergill, a volunteer member of Amigos de Los Animales (Friends of the Animals), discovered a group of newborn puppies on Dead Dog Beach in Puerto Rico. Mary rescued and rehabilitated them and, three months later, they flew to Newark, New Jersey, to be placed in their forever homes.
Jean Baur and her husband adopted one of Mary’s rescuesa dog named Bellaand opened her Pennsylvania home to her new best friend. Just as Jean enrolled Bella in certified therapy-dog classes, she lost her job at the age of sixty-five. This new work, visiting hospital patients with her therapy job, gave Jean hope and a new purpose in life.
After moving to Connecticut, Bella’s work expanded to nursing homes and elementary schools, as well as local hospitals and cancer centers. She met an Alzheimer’s patient who learned to smile again after Bella took a treat from her hand. She also befriended a six-year-old boy with autism (who previously held a deep fear of dogs) along with a disabled hospital patient who was withdrawn and uncommunicative until Bella jumped into the bed with him and coaxed him to open up again.
Jean and Bella’s journey into the world of therapy-dog work gave them a bright, new outlookand has helped countless others overcome their own struggleswhile proving to all that broken souls can, indeed, be healed.
Joy Unleashed is a must-read for anyone who appreciates the true power of the human-canine bond.
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About the Author
Aimee Scott is a special education teacher with twenty years experience. She teaches at LEARN's intensive program in Old Lyme, Connecticut, and is known for her ability to connect with students with special needs. She loves her "cherubs." She and Jean and Bella worked together at Deans Mill School, Stonington, Connecticut, and Aimee resides in Waterford.
Table of Contents
Part I Early Days 1
1 What Were We Thinking? 3
2 This Is a Crazy Place: Hospital Orientation 8
3 The Cat Is Not a Snack 13
4 The Infusion Room 18
5 Baby Steps 26
6 Dealing with the Unexpected 31
7 Progress 37
Part II Finding the Right Job 43
8 Saying Goodbye 45
9 One Step Forward and Fifteen Back 54
10 Beverly 60
11 An Ail-American Dog 68
12 Leonard 76
13 Time to Walk Away 85
Part III Sit, Stay, Paws Up 91
14 Navigating Through a Hospital 93
15 Canine Good Citizen 101
16 Bonding 111
17 The Therapy Dog Certification Test 117
18 When a Dog Is Like a Teenager 123
19 Revolving Door 129
Part IV Working Girl 137
20 Expect Nothing, Be Surprised 139
21 We Go to School 145
22 Favorites Can Still Bite 152
23 What We Do 159
24 Invitations 166
25 Beverly's Blessing 175
26 Every Dog Has a Story 181
27 Our Very Own School 190
28 Slowness Is the New Kindness 200
29 Legacy from Angus 209
30 At the End There Is a Dog 220
A Note from the Author 234
Further Reading 236
Therapy Dog Websites/Organizations 241