How do you measure success with animal-assisted therapy programs?

Lucy settled in very close to her new friend

Lucy settled in very close to her new friend

The successes are often very subtle.

Direct eye contact.

A soft smile.

A hand slowly reaching out.

A look.

A sound.

Kirby was petted but Lucy was loved

Kirby was petted but Lucy was loved

One Love Dog, Lucy, brought about a true measured success today.She met a woman for the first time.

This woman stays in her bed, with sightless eyes and a frail body.

She had met another therapy dog, Kirby, and seemed to enjoy his presence.

"Lucy" - don't take my dog away

“Lucy” – don’t take my dog away

She even reached out to pet him on her own.

But when Lucy was put up next to her, she changed.

She turned her head towards this different dog.

She definitely knew it was a different dog.

For the first time she seemed to really acknowledge the dog on her bed.

Lucy would have stayed on this bed forever

Lucy would have stayed on this bed forever

For the first time she lifted up her head and looked in the direction of this incredibly soft thing lying next to her.For the first time we heard her speak … Lucy.

She indeed said Lucy clear as a bell when the dog was lifted away from her.

Today something special happened.

For the client.

For the volunteer.

For the little dog.