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Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Therapy Animals at ModernCX 2019 (Interview)

Therapy Animals at ModernCX 2019 (Interview)

Pet Partners is a nonprofit
that brings the harnessing the power of the animals out into
the public; educational environments, and therapeutic environments.
We’re looking to create a real breakthrough or achieve a goal through the
power of the animals. I lived in New York, I was an executive
at a major company, very high powered life and within 15 minutes I was in a major hospital.
I went through catastrophic illness, five months in the hospital and a year and
a half recovering and I had to relearn everything. It really changed my life. I said,
I’m going to do everything I want to do because they’re not guaranteeing me a viable life
or that I’ll be able to walk and do things. So my number one thing I wanted
to do was get another dog because I really had been so involved in the
therapy world, but didn’t have my own pet. So it starts with it being your pet,
but it’s not as simple as can your dog sit or have obedience.
You can teach them manners and behavior. You can’t teach them to love. This is Teddy. Isn’t he darling? We’ve had him about six or eight months.
He came through the streets of LA. I always thought Tommy would
make a great therapy cat. Tommy lost his eyes when he was just a baby.
And he was just real mellow. Nothing really fazes him. So we went through the
training with Pet Partners. Pet Partners is the strictest of all programs
and we’ve registered nine different species. We start with the animals
that are naturally calm. Except Benny! He was crazy! And he was
considered unadoptable and unteachable and Benny is the greatest example in our anti-bully
program that everybody can be misunderstood. We teach diversity, inclusion, special needs
just means you’re perfect the way you are, but it really is about harnessing
whatever you can to bring about emotion or movement to
elicit a good feeling. People said, why are we here?
We’ve had everyone come up to us who either misses their home
or nervous to be with a crowd. If you pet a calm dog or
animal for five minutes, your heart rate will steady, and what you’re doing
now is better than a cup of coffee or a run. We work a lot of conventions
with a lot of corporate partners. Oracle has been the best.
Talk about customer service! We really understand that
the respect goes both ways and Oracle has demonstrated
that tenfold.

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