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Success A D ay W i t h DOGGIE THERAPY They say a dog is a man’s best friend, but therapy dogs are going beyond the call of duty to add emotional health benefits to all those they encounter on a daily basis. T E X T BY Y U PI M E D E R O S , E M OT I O N A L T H E R A P Y D O G ADVANCED TRAINING “I’m not just your go-fetch friend. We service dogs are canines that have been trained to be loving and affectionate, help raise spirits and improve quality of life.” NO BREAKS “We service dogs are working hard to fulfill our handler’s needs. Our handler helps us stay on task by telling people I’m working, and that I can’t be distracted. Sometimes I’m hard to resist, but I’m only doing my job.” PRIME PETTING “My calm demeanor allows me to make visits to places like hospitals and nursing homes where I can share my love and cheer people up. I show them tricks and they pet me. I call it “Pet-Me- Palooza.” GOOD VIBRATIONS “Not only am I calm, cool and collected, I can feel your energy and know when you’re feeling blue, have anxiety, or you just aren’t feeling yourself. That’s when I snuggle up and lick your feet.” PERSONAL STYLIST “I can even help you get dressed. That’s right! I can put together a whole matching outfit down to the shoes. I’ve seen a few humans in my day who haven’t learned to do that.” OUTDOOR EXPLORER “I love taking walks in the neighborhood, smelling other dogs at the park, and riding with the windows down. Most of all, I love being by your side to keep you company and fetch you a smile.” 36