canines for christ - therapy dogs

Canines For Christ Therapy Dogs

Who transforms from a lazy couch potato to a wriggling ball of enthusiasm at the mention of work? A therapy dog!

Therapy dogs are dogs with jobs. When you pull out their vest, snap on a leash and head for the car they work themselves up, only to calm themselves to angel-like gentleness for elderly nursing home patients and prepare their tricks for autistic children.

Canines for Christ is a Christian non-profit, therapy dog organization.

They utilize dog/handler teams to spread God’s love to people in need. C4C certifies dog/handler teams with the Canine Good Citizen test from the American Kennel Club. The CGC is a ten-step test that ensures therapy dogs have excellent behavior and knowledgeable handlers.

Canines for Christ is an international organization. They are centered in Tampa Bay, Florida, U.S.A. but have teams as far-reaching as South Africa, Lithuania (Europe), and Germany.
C4C teams visit hospitals, nursing homes, rehab centers, assisted living facilities, crisis centers, children’s homes, grief centers, cancer centers, hospice facilities, prison ministries and many other places. This organization tries to send teams anywhere that a therapy dog is welcomed and needed.

 

What a Therapy Dog Can Do!

Studies on therapy dogs have shown that they provide several physical health benefits to those they visit. These include reducing blood pressure, improving cardiovascular health, releasing the hormone oxytocin that has a calming-bonding effect, and reducing pain.

Visits from C4C therapy teams encourage people facing difficulties physically and mentally. They show them that they are loved.

therapy dog visit
Study Buddies – Children are reading to C4C Therapy Dogs Blessing and Zaccheus.

Nursing home residents look forward to regular visits from their new furry friends. They start collecting pictures of the dogs, inventing nicknames for them, and making memories with their therapy team.

A therapy dog can encourage communication in a child with developmental disorders affecting speech.

In this video, the therapy team Jim and Bouc work to introduce canine therapy to the American Cancer Society Memorial Foundation. Jim tells just why he takes his dog to visit the cancer patients.

Visit this page to read the stories of therapy dogs who have made an impact!

 

“Say Hi, Caliber!”

My dog, Caliber, is a therapy dog certified through Canines for Christ! Caliber couldn’t be happier than to put his vest on and start visiting people. He has a particular affection for people with special needs. With the elderly, he is calm and very gentle. So much so, that when I thought I taught him a command for putting his paws on someone’s lap so he could be more easily pet, he refuses to do this with most seniors.

Visiting with children is his favorite job. Children who are often afraid of bigger dogs seem drawn to Caliber because of his smaller size, fancy coat, and relaxed demeanor.

Caliber – relaxed and eager to share some love.

It is the therapy dog’s goal to share love and fun with the people they visit.

“Mocha” is another therapy dog with Canines for Christ. Read this special story to find out how Mocha and Carolyn helped Richard find his voice!

 

Further the Goal

Consider donating to Canines for Christ so that these Dogs and Handlers can keep reaching out! Your donation might give the next therapy dog a new red vest.

You can help the therapy dogs of C4C by praying for their success, or donating to the projects these therapy dogs are a part of, such as the Children’s Cancer Center or Pyramid Special Needs Development Center.

Donations are also used to further the outreach started at many children’s centers, Shriners Children’s Hospitals, and more.

You can donate online at k9forchrist.org

Promote Therapy Dogs

There are still people and places yet to hear about the benefit of loving therapy dogs. You can help extend God’s love and the benefits of therapy dogs by spreading the word.

Further, many people do not understand the difference between “therapy” and “service” dogs. There is an important difference, but lack of this knowledge keeps people from understanding the potential benefits of therapy dogs in the community.

So put out a good word, share your favorite therapy dog story, give the FaceBook page a thumbs-up, and let your community know that people can experience God’s love through therapy dog & handler teams!

 

Consider Joining the Teams!

Think your dog may have what it takes to be a therapy dog?

Start by studying the Canine Good Citizen test at the American Kennel Club website here.

Then check out how to get started with Canines for Christ!

 

Looking for another way to help people and their pets? Check out PACTforAnimals!

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