Pet therapy dogs brighten patients' days at Nacogdoches Memorial - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Pet therapy dogs brighten patients' days at Nacogdoches Memorial Health

Calvin brings a smile to a patient’s face. (Source: KTRE Staff) Calvin brings a smile to a patient’s face. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Marty, a naturally friendly golden retriever, is a Canine Good Citizen. (Source: KTRE Staff) Marty, a naturally friendly golden retriever, is a Canine Good Citizen. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Dogs used in pet therapy report to work at Nacogdoches Memorial Health. (Source: KTRE Staff) Dogs used in pet therapy report to work at Nacogdoches Memorial Health. (Source: KTRE Staff)
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -

A resurgence in the use of therapy dogs is happening in Nacogdoches. They are mild mannered dogs with specialized certification help people cope with behavior issues to learning how to read.

Remarkable changes can happen when a pup enters a room.

Therapy dogs Calvin, a dachshund that acts like a big dog in a little body, and Marty, a naturally friendly golden retriever reported to work Friday.  

"Marty,” a patient said.

Their job is to make patients at Nacogdoches Memorial Health happy.

"I love dogs,” the patient said.

The behavioral health patients react in different ways to their four-legged guests. Carlton instantly smiled.

Across the room Janet doesn't need the company of dogs.
 
"Well I don't know,” Janet said. “There's company all over this place."

That's OK. Therapists say most behavioral health patients don't have to like dogs to reap the benefits from their visit.  

"De-stressing of anxiety, help with depression, and it can be very beneficial for all patients,” said Megan Langford, the clinical director.

The Nacogdoches Humane Society encourages Animal Assistance Therapy, knowing just by petting the dog good things happen.

One reason why Nacogdoches school counselors are introducing pet therapy, while the public library is looking into read therapy dogs.

Phil, the quiet observer in the group, totally got it.

"I feel like they're very sweet, very kind, very smart animals, and sometimes don't get enough credit for what they're worth,” Phil said.

Calvin and Marty are sure getting their share of praise. Why, even Janet became engaged in discussion about Calvin's floppy ears.

"If his ears are up?" Janet asked.

The interaction and the affection demonstrate it was a good day at work for Calvin and Marty.

Pet therapy dogs have to be certified to visit most public locations. The Nacogdoches Humane Society can assist interested pet owners in obtaining the training and the testing.
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