People weren’t the only ones missing physical touch over the COVID-19 pandemic.
Therapy dogs will finally receive in-person pets and cuddles starting on August 5.
After nearly a year off, St. John Ambulance’s four-legged volunteers will be kicking off its return to in-person visits for Work Like a Dog Day.
Before the pandemic, the therapy program ran weekly visiting hospitals, care homes, schools and workplaces.
On August 5, the therapy dogs will be doing one-hour visits at a variety of workplaces to provide stress-free joy and work breaks.
Anna Boekhoven, manager of fund development and partnerships at St. John Ambulance B.C. & Yukon says the day is to celebrate people who put in extra effort and care during the pandemic.
“Given that our therapy dog teams are the most caring workers we know, we thought this was the perfect day to reunite them with their communities,” says Boekhoven.
Virtual 20-minute appointments can also be booked for remote teams or workplaces.
Handler Carey McBeth says she’s been looking forward to volunteering again and Burke, a Bernes mountain therapy dog, has missed the routine.
“Burke has really missed the weekly routine of putting on his ‘work’ bandana and heading out to make new friends, so we’re thrilled to be a part of this event. No matter where we visit, his presence always seems to make everyone smile and throughout the years he has helped people of all ages through some tough times,” said McBeth.
To book a therapy dog in-person or for a virtual visit this website: supportsja.ca/work-like-a-dog before July 30 at 5 p.m.