It’s only March but it seems that this year is turning out to be pretty scary and disheartening. First we had wild fires burning across the Amazon, Australia, and the United States. We also mourned for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna after they passed away in a helicopter crash. Now the whole world is battling against Covid-19. While it seems like there are so many reasons to be sad, we should look to the bright side. And Dr Dog is a great way to put a smile on your face!
Did that put a smile on your face?
While credits for the meme goes to DrDogMD, the Dr Dog we’re talking about isn’t quite the same.
Dog Assisted Therapy
Many of us who have pets already know the amazing effect that they bring. It is always such a mood booster to see them and feels almost therapeutic. In fact, the method of using animals for therapeutic effects dates back to 1792. It first began in asylums to treat patients and give them a calming effect.
While a variety of animals can be used to provide this alternative form of therapy, dogs are the most common. They comfort clients through the use of body contact. Moreover, by interacting with the dogs, patients can improve motor skills and reduce stress and anxiety.
Even talking to a dog can be therapeutic for some who might not feel confident in talking to another person. The calming and non-judgemental effect from therapy dogs can really help in boosting a persons mood.
Dr Dog to the Rescue!
Here in Malaysia, Dr Dog is a programme that uses animals as an alternative method of healing and therapy. Animal assisted therapy is different from service and guide animals. Firstly, the dogs actually have owners who enrol them in the programme.
Together they go out to visit those who can really benefit from dog therapy such as old folks homes, orphanages, and handicapped children. Due to the type of groups that the dogs visit, they must undergo training first.
The dogs must learn to be patient with whoever is handling them because sometimes they might be handled a bit roughly by accident. However, the dogs can’t lose their temper and bite back.
Moreover, they have to be gentle as they are visiting those who might require a softer approach. They cannot jump and run around and overall be too excited for whoever is playing with them.
As a result, the dogs are gentle, patient, and very very easy to love! Who wouldn’t want to be visited by a loving and adorable dog. Furthermore, they know when it’s time to go into doctor mode. When they have their red bandana’s around their necks, they know it’s time to be a doctor.
More Details on these Furry Doctors
Moving on, Dr Dog is run by Salehin Ibrahim who previously worked as a banker. After suffering from a stroke, he decided to pursue his passion of working with dogs and giving back to the community.
Currently he lives with his dogs in K-9 Cottage in Jalan Sg Lui, Hulu Langat. The 0.6 hectare of land provides the dogs with plenty of space to run around. Furthermore, the river nearby is tranquil and provides a lovely symphony of calming sounds.
Those who are interested to volunteer can reach out to him on Facebook to see what kind of help he requires. It could include visiting his land and helping to bathe the dogs. Otherwise you could be helping to bring and take care of the dogs during visitations.
Check out this short documentary to learn more about the programme, benefits of dog therapy, and volunteering.