Who? Eddie is a retired racing greyhound. He is five years old, and is joining me as a therapy/companion dog. He is calm, loving, and well mannered. He was originally named “Tobasco” as a racer, although is only mildly responsive to that name. We decided that Edgar was a dignified name. Since he is not accustomed to either name, he may not always respond immediately.
Why? Dogs are known to be a calming presence. They are able to provide unconditional positive regard. Also, they are known to aid in the release the calming hormone Oxytocin. This hormone does many wonderful things, but promoting a sense of safety and wellbeing is what Oxytocin does best.
How? You can make use of Eddie’s presence in any way you like. He will have his standard place in the office. He is often resting or asleep, as is the nature of greyhounds. However, if you call him to you, he will probably come if he is awake. You may enjoy moving his bed near your selected chair to have him physically close. You may pet him, hug him, or just enjoy his presence. He is very gentle and loves to be petted and cuddled. It might take a few sessions to develop your preferred relationship with Eddie.
Eddie’s participation in your therapy is entirely your decision! It is okay if you prefer to not have Eddie join our sessions. The following are common reasons a person may not want to have a companion animal present:
• I’m allergic to dogs
• I just don’t like dogs
• A companion animal distracts me from my process
• I feel unclean or contaminated near dogs
• I’m afraid of dogs.
Whatever the reason might be, whether one of the above or something else entirely, Eddie and I are perfectly comfortable with him relaxing in another room during our session.