By Angela Cruz, Marketing Director (and Pup’s Owner)
When I brought Pup into the ELG Putuo Campus to visit in October, I thought it would be a rare event. Instead, he became weekly institution, even earning a “Welcome to the ELG Family” spot on our employee bulletin board. He was never trained as a therapy dog, but the service he provides at ELG has been wonderful for all of us.
According to the Mayo Clinic, animals can assist people dealing with stress and anxiety. When Pup gives kisses and snuggles, the children and young adults in our care, not to mention our staff, experience pure joy. Interacting with Pup gives them unique opportunities to have sensory experiences, social interactions, and speech practice. Pup’s unconditional love and excitement to be around them is freeing and fun, less difficult to interpret than humans. Getting a turn to pet him or walk him down the hallway is a motivating prize for children who can have difficulty controlling their behavior.
As he continues his weekly visits as our official Snuggling Specialist, we look forward to coming up with new ways to integrate him into the children’s development, well-being, and attitudes about special needs.