The dogs ruled the day at the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition Conference in Las Vegas

Benny and Kirby were very popular with the guests

Benny and Kirby were very popular with the guests

Bailey was very happy to just be there

Bailey was very happy to just be there

The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition Conference was held at the M Resort in Las Vegas this weekend and one of the star sessions was a discussion about animal assisted therapy and the healing power of pets.

Koda impressed everyone with his cool, calm demeaner

Koda impressed everyone with his cool, calm demeaner

Several handlers and dogs from the Love Dog team were there to discuss what it takes to become a Delta Pet Partners team and member of the Love Dogs program and the benefits of animal assisted therapy is a myriad of settings.

We were greeted so warmly by the organization

We were greeted so warmly by the organization

Dash showed everyone what an Italian Greyhound is

Dash showed everyone what an Italian Greyhound is

The audience was comprised of cancer survivors, their families and health care professionals. Everyone enjoyed hearing the stories from the field and what it takes to reach the Pet Partners standard of excellence.

The dog teams arrived half an hour before the session was to begin and waited outside the conference room. When they entered no one could believe five dogs were outside all that time and there was not one sound!

Benny went from lap to lap - what a great day!

Benny went from lap to lap – what a great day!

The discussion included the history of animal assisted therapy, what makes Pet Partners different, what is expected of the handler and animal and the benefits to the client/patient, facility, dog and volunteer.

Everyone enjoyed the opportunity to meet the dogs and owners up close and there were many questions. Some people were surprised to learn that Pet Partners is the only therapy organization that evaluates and registers species other than canines, including cats, gorses, pigs and small pocket pets. They were also surprised to learn it is the only organization that requires re-testing every two years to ensure safety and the continued ability of both the handler and animal.

Several participants live in the Las Vegas area and perhaps they will want to train with their own animal to give back in this way or become volunteers without an animal. We all agreed that … the best way to deal with challenges is to give back — and that way you get back so much more.

Kirby thought it was an excellent morning!

Kirby thought it was an excellent morning!

Thank you boys for carrying on Coco's legacy

Thank you boys for carrying on Coco’s legacy

Thank you to all of our volunteers for making this a wonderful presentation: Kelly and Bailey, Becki, Lydia and Koda, Leslie and Dash, Krissy, Betty, Ira and George .