Virginia "Ginny" Swartzell and her Therapy Dogs have become a part of the 4Main family at Holy Spirit. Each week Ginny and one of her “children” bring joy and laughter to the many patients on 4Main as well as the staff. Tessa, one of Ginny’s “children“, has become one of our 4Main “RNs” with her beautiful, frilly nursing outfit that she wears when she visits with our patients.
Holy Spirit Hospital recently participated in their Magnet Appraisal Visit to achieve Magnet Designation through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Ginny and Tessa were gracious enough to come in and be here for the 4Main unit tour with the Magnet Appraiser. As part of our 4Main family, Ginny and Tessa were very helpful in demonstrating the mission and vision of 4Main and the commitment to our patients and their families.
4Main thanks Ginny and Tessa and K-Pets for their dedication to the patients and staff on our unit.
Review from Guidestar
Jill Herbert, who use to work for SeniorLIFE brought pet therapy to our center and put information on your website.
Jill, her high school daughter Jubilee Herbert, and their dog Molly brought along Nancy Dixon and her dog Jill to our Adult Day Care Center in 2012. Our Members loved them! They were very professional and courteous, and their dogs calm and obedient. This group had problems with our hours, due to our Monday through Friday 8-4:30 PM, conflicting with Jubilees schooling.
We now have Lori Napoli and her dog Kramer coming to our center. This is such a blessing! The SeniorLIFE members are so happy. One of our members stated that the new therapy dog “really connected with her and that has never happened before.”
Thank you all so much for what you do. This is such a treat for those who miss having animals!
My Golden Retriever, Hunter, and I jointed KPETS over a year ago. Hunter is only two years old but has the demeanor of an “old soul”. This “Old Soul” has melted the hearts of many children at the Shrewsbury Library’s “Tales for Tails”.
There are moments when five children are reading five different books all at the same time. Some will show Hunter the pictures in the books. One little boy was very shy to read in front of his parents. They decided to walk around the library while the boy sat and rubbed Hunter’s belly. There was a dog book sitting on Hunter’s blanket. I told the little boy Hunter had just finished reading the book and if he liked, he could read it to Hunter. The boy was slow at picking up the book. As the boy read, he would stumble through some of the words. I asked him to show the word to Hunter. I would then put my ear to Hunter’s snout. I would then tell the boy the word. He was so impressed that Hunter “could read”. This encouraged him that he decided to get another book to read. When his parents returned to the reading area, they were thrilled by the sight of their shy son reading to Hunter. They kept thanking me for breaking the shyness and shell that was surrounding their son. One dog, one boy, one book, one magical moment is all it took.
I became involved with KPETS last year with my 10 year old Brittany who I rescued 7 years ago. She was put into a rescue organization because her original owners could not spend enough time with her since they commuted over an hour each way to their employment. This is important since Haley, my KPETS certified dog, just craves attention from everyone. Haley gets as much out of KPETS as she gives to the kids at the library or the folks at the nursing home or the people who stop at the information booth when we are fundraising. We have been to the golf tournament and to the Bow Wow Bingo fundraisers and she just loves everyone and all of the dogs too!!!
KPETS have been in the New Oxford Area Library since 2008.
I have had parents tell me their child began reading with more confidence since they visited the library to read aloud to the therapy animals.
We have also had the therapy animals in the library for writing workshop for 5th to 7th grade students. The families are so impressed with the training and the impact on the kids and the pleasure they have in this experience. Talented writers and therapy animals at the library. A wining combination for all.
Be sure to "check out" the books in the New Oxford Area Library Mystery series.
We first heard about KPETS when Karen and Sammy visited the hospital where I was an occupational therapist. Having a golden retriever(Poz, a 6 year old golden whom we rescued from the humane league at age 2), I immediately thought "Poz would LOVE doing this" as well as did all my therapist friends. My husband and I went to the pre-assessment and we knew KPETS would be a great thing for Poz, we were hooked. Poz passed all his assessments with flying colors and we were officially a KPETS team. Seeing the joy and happiness on people's faces when they see Poz coming is something that just brings such joy to our lives. We love Poz so much and to be able to share him with others and know what a good job and good work he is doing by just being himself and letting them pet him, is so rewarding. We absolutely LOVE KPETs and doing as much as we can to be involved whenever we can(which can sometimes be difficult with a very active 2 year old!). You can not imagine the smiles you can get from a visit or the stories you hear from others about their lives, their dogs and just their lives today. KPETS means so much to us, to be able to give back to our community is something we love. Poz is truly an amazing Golden and we are so happy to have him and can't imagine a day without him! Even better is being able to share him with so many others when we do therapy with him, it's the smiles on other's faces seeing him and knowing the joy it brings them, just absolutely amazing!
While Chester, my golden retriever Pet Therapy dog, and I were walking down the hallway to our regular Pet Therapy appt. at Schreiber Pediatric Rehab, a speech therapist came out of her room and asked, "Excuse me, would you mind coming back to my room for a moment? I am working with a little girl, in all my time working with her I have never heard her speak a complete sentence, or be able to put words together. When you walked past my door she said, 'Can I pet the dog?'" Well, of course I immediately turned around and went into her room with Chester. The little 10 year old girl was all smiles and so excited to pet the dog! While petting him she said, "I have a dog at home!" The therapist amazed, quietly spoke to me, "Sentence #2!" She asked the girl about her dog at home. The girl reached into her backpack, pulled out a stuffed doggie, kissed Chester with her stuffed doggie, and said, "This is my doggie!" The therapist looked my way and mouthed the words, "Sentence #3..." My eyes filled with tears, so privilged to be apart of this miracle-moment.
What a difference Pet Therapy can make in the life of a child, an adult, whoever could benefit from the undconditional love and a tail wag of a furry friend.
These stories happen everyday. God moments for sure. And sometimes... when you least expect it, while you are on your way to someplace just walkin' and waggin' down the hallway, miracles can pop up and surprise you.
My Golden Retriever, Buster, and I participated in a Paws for Reading program at East Berlin (PA) library. Children of all ages would come in to read to a KPETS therapy dog. One of the kids we worked with improved so much, he was selected to go to a literacy camp that year. Buster and I were very proud of his success!
I am the program director for a school-based Boys and Girls Club site. We have been so lucky to have a KPETS volunteer join our program this school year. Over the course of the year, Kathy and her wonderful dog, Jazz, have worked with groups of our students to improve their reading skills. Over a series of weeks, the students are able to take turns reading to Jazz, which makes them less nervous than reading with an adult. The students are exposed to other crafts and dog-related activities as well. It is truly a great incentive to deepen their interest in reading, and the program is reaping results as well- a teacher of a current participant just came to me and said, "I don't know what you're doing with [name removed for privacy], but keep it up because her test scores are rocketing up!"