We know dogs are able to provide comfort to humans, from therapy dogs visiting schools and retirement homes to emotional support dogs who help their human parents cope with anxiety. But as the world puts into place restrictions and social distancing measures a famous surf dog will offer her services as a therapy dog for frontline healthcare workers in online sessions.
The dog, a golden retriever named Ricochet who is known on social media as a therapy and surf pooch, works with Pawsitive Teams, a non-profit organization based in San Diego, California that trains therapy and service dogs. According to Pawsitive Teams, making virtual eye contact with a dog can help someone relax.
Pawsitive explains that even gazing into a photo of a dog’s eyes ‘creates a calming, connected state of being that, after 30 to 60 seconds, triggers the release of oxytocin in the brain?’ Oxytocin is a hormone that reduces anxiety and creates a calming, connected state of being.
In a post on Instagram, Surfdogricochet states, “At a time when dogs could be truly valuable resources, I’m thinking outside the box in an effort to offer some form of canine therapy to the millions of people around the world who need it.”
“I especially want to get this program in front of doctors, nurses, other healthcare workers, first responders, essential workers and anyone else who is stressed out,” the post reads.
If you’re a healthcare worker and want to schedule an appointment with Ricochet you can book a FaceTime session via Ricochet’s owner, Judy Fridono, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to Metro, sessions are open for US healthcare workers as well as UK healthcare workers.
It’s great to see that man’s best friend is helping in the battle against the coronavirus. Providing support via therapy online all the while respecting the social distancing rules is a great way to help the frontline workers who are in need of reducing anxiety and stress as much as possible as they continue the fight against the coronavirus.
Dogs are already immensely valuable in this crisis with some dogs being trained to use their sniffing abilities to help detect the coronavirus.