Please join us for #GivingTuesday to raise $3,000 to help us purchase items to enhance our training so we can adapt to virtual therapy visits.
We did not know what to expect. No visiting in person. No touching the dogs. Could dog therapy be effective if children could only see the dog on a screen?
Macey, Layla, Gordy and Jake were the first dogs to give it a try. The staff at Skokie Library asked us to pilot a program with children the dogs had been seeing throughout the year. Each child had their own unique special need. The first virtual visit was filled with smiles and squeals of laughter. After the second session a mother called in asking us to meet more often. The sessions with Rainbow therapy dogs were the highlight of Sarah's week. She was happy and smiling for days afterward.
News of our success spread. Soon we had hospitals contacting us to brainstorm ways the dogs could 'visit' virtually. We created new training for our teams. So much to learn -- how to navigate Zoom, where to position your laptop or iPad to best see the dog, where to set up your therapy activities, room lighting, how long could the dogs work in this mode.
Virtual visits are effective therapy. With your help we can continue to offer this service to more patients in hospitals, to the school children learning remotely and to others in need of the healing therapy dogs can bring.