Meet Boone, the Therapy Dog!
I am so pleased to introduce yall to Boone, the 3-year-old Bernese mountain dog! I was lucky enough to take Boone home with me 8 weeks after he was born, and when he weighed 8 pounds. See heart melting puppy picture below. He was one of 3 boys in a litter of 11 puppies. When I walked in his northern California home to pick him up, the first thing I saw was this giant HORSE DOG, that I would later find out was Boone’s dad. ME: “Ha oh, he’s a 140 pounds; yes yes he’s beautiful!” As his head surpasses my hip bone- I didn’t spend more than an hour there as we had to hop on a plane back down to San Diego so he could start adjusting to his new home.
Boone has been at my side the last three years, always smiling (yes, he smiles), wagging his tail, and helping raise other’s spirits including mine. He was irreplaceable through my move from sunny California back to South Carolina. He provided so much support to me through that very challenging time, and is now enjoying weekly visits from his grandparents, new dog friends, and snow days, since we never had snow in California. Sometimes he gets into mischief like eating socks, Christmas lights, etc but overall he just wants to be with people and take naps!
Dogs have been proven to lower blood pressure, stress, risk of heart disease and many other benefits when living in the home. In the therapy room, they are helpful for reducing stress and anxiety of counseling, giving and teaching comfort to clients, teaching empathy, and showing unconditional positive regard, which simply means showing unconditional love. Research says petting a dog actually releases a hormone called Oxytocin, which is known as a bonding hormone. Boone has been a great comfort to my clients, and can be scheduled for appointments when requested.
Boone recently became a member of Alliance of Therapy dogs. They are a great organization where therapy dogs are used in hospitals, group homes, schools, and assisted living homes. We have been visiting Carolina Behavioral Center in Greer most recently, but will start working the Greenville Hospital System shortly. His favorite place seems to be with kids, and the feelings are mutual. I am pretty sure he is born for this work.
***Disclaimer: This blog is the opinion of an individual and does not constitute professional advice or a professional relationship to the reader. If you are seeking mental health services, please contact a therapist in your area. If you are experiencing an emergency, please go to the nearest hospital or call 911.***