Pet Therapy, a gift for all at Crossings Rivers Health

paulaI have been a Certified Recreation on Therapist for over 25 years, and have worked at CRH for seven years. The photo was taken as Paula Gutzmer; her canine companion, Maggie; and I were preparing to make rounds at the hospital- visits we have enjoyed together for the past four years. This complimentary therapy is a part of the Recreation Therapy Program.

Maggie provides unconditional love and affection and assists with raising the spirits of patients every Friday morning. Maggie and Paula (with my assistance) sometimes provide a much needed escape providing a patient time to relax and not think about pain or their physical condition. Maggie is a welcome distraction to help reduce the stress and/or anxiety of being in the hospital.

Pet Therapy at CRH is not only beneficial for patients. Maggie’s visits provide a moment for staff to receive this unconditional love along with family and visitors. Maggie and Paula have touched the hearts of many patients, family and staff.

Pet Therapy is also provided for residents at Assisted Living and Childcare. Bev Pozega and her dog, Nicki, provide group intergenerational visits. Nicki has a way to make the adults and the children laugh with her spunky personality and tricks! Deb Cross provides one-on-one visits in rooms with her dog, Sammy. Each dog and their owner provide the residents and children with that unconditional love that touches their lives. It is exceptionally rewarding to organize Pet Therapy for CRH.