Therapy dogs provide comfort on the Coast

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You’ve probably heard of using yoga or essential oils to help you relax, but what about dogs?

Meet Doc. He and his owner, Mike Bowin, make a huge difference in the lives of many on the Coast almost daily with their group Visiting Pet Teams of South Mississippi. “Well, Visiting Pets, they are registered therapy dogs. Our registering organization is Pet Partners.”

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Doc is a certified therapy dog. He provides hope and comfort to people in need all along the Gulf Coast. “Well, it has been found that dogs have a real calming effect on people. They’ve been known to help people reduce blood pressure and it’s one of the big things that puts a smile on their face.”

Doc keeps busy. Every week he spends about six hours helping people in need at places like hospitals, nursing homes, and libraries. “When you walk in and the first thing is they are a little startled and they are like ‘there is a dog in the room!” That smile breaks out, I can’t remember how many times I’ve heard people tell me as I’m getting ready to leave that “the dog really made my day.’”

If you have a pet you think would make a perfect therapy animal go online to visitingpets.org. “We found that dogs, much like people, each have their own personalities and their own giftedness and that therapy dogs, we find that they are born, not made.”


Related Article: Therapy Dog Graduation

A new member orientation is held on the second Saturday of each month.