Pet therapy in work and school | Lorinda Schrammel | TEDxOStateU



we are so excited to be here to share with you about our whiskey's new pet therapy program called Pete's pet posse Evie and Charlie who you'll meet a little bit are the two dogs that have been our our guinea pigs or our guinea dogs for this program and it has gone over so well we are excited to be adding some more in the future I think up before I get into what I'd like to share I think mrs. Hargis who's kind of helps kick start this program on campus well tell us a little bit more about it via a video Evie has no girl we're into a pilot program at this point and it is having dogs in the office who are certified as therapy dogs and what we've noticed in the little bit we've done is everybody has a smile on their face everybody is having the best time with this there are therapy programs on other campuses and we've had a therapy service stop visit campus and we just tested the waters on this and decided it would be a fabulous idea to partner with our outstanding veterinary school being the veterinary hospital and the Veterinary College within Oklahoma State University we felt it was important for us to take a leading role in creating this program in order to make sure that this is being done in a way that is going to meet the needs of the animals as well as the humans that are gonna benefit we've seen dogs in the offices before where all the staff will get down on their hands and knees to be on the level that the dog and I think it just brings in a whole new dimension to a workforce we are going to provide well health care for all of the animals as a part of their screening in the process to be enrolled and that's going to include their prevention which is vaccinations heartworm prevention deworming we are thrilled to have the entire University as potential people involved in what's happening here and it's also another way that we are celebrating our striving to be America's healthiest campus it really ties right into our initiative here on campus to be America's healthiest campus and so because it provides emotional health to a lot of people as well as physical health there's been lots of research done especially in the last 20 years that talks about what pets can do for us it doesn't have to be dogs but of course we love our dogs here and that they help lower blood pressure they've also been known to improve cardiovascular health especially in men it also helps with feelings of loneliness or homesickness we have a lot of students that come here from all over the world and they often leave their pets behind and so we find that this is really a good cure they get to pet a dog that maybe they haven't got to pet in several weeks or month since they left home so we see how it can actually improve their well-being and we're thrilled to be a part of that so how did Evie come to be well Evie was a an abandoned dog she was abandoned for a couple of weeks prior to the Shawnee tornado and she rode out the Shawnee tornado all alone in a backyard of a home where she had lived with the family that abandoned her and luckily someone heard that I was she was taking in tornado animals that had been victims of tornado and they brought her in I don't know who that kind soul was but I'm so thrilled and but when she got here she didn't quite look like this she was covered in fleas and ticks and so they had to remove all of those ticks one by one which was quite a process I'm glad y'all got to meet dr. SIPP earlier she's the dog that's treated evey since the beginning and so once they got her back on a road to health she also has heartworm she was heartworm positive when she came in and so we had to do they've been they began heartworm treatments back in May and then she'll be completing those next week which is not a fun process for the dogs especially but we're thrilled that she's getting healthy again how does she become my dog well I got this really sad email with this picture of this sad lonely dog now I got a great email saying this dog is available for adoption through the vet hospital and I had lost my dog about a year prior and I am a dog person so I was thrilled so I said I've got to go meet this dog so me and my supervisor in human resources Jamie pain and went over to the vet hospital to meet Evy and love at first sight Oh at least for me I don't know about Eevee but we we had a great connection and so about three days later she got to come home with me and she we've been inseparable ever since she's definitely a Mama's girl is for sure so how did she become our departmental dog well when I fell in love with her so did Jamie and so we adored the pet therapy program had already begun to meet and they've kind of decided that it would be great if departments would adopt the dogs so that they would kind of be the departmental dog and so Jamie asked all of our members of our department what they felt about that and we had overwhelmingly support for Eevee and we have one person that's actually allergic to dogs but she has been as supportive as everyone else he just says as long as I don't pet her I love having her around and so we've been really fortunate that we have lots of support in our department because we really we know that departments can determine how best to use their dogs Eevee has gone with me I do training here at OSU she's gone with me to training classes she's gone with me all across campus to visit departments or people that are interested in training and she just goes around campus with me in general she likes to sit at our front door and greet and greet people as I come into human resources and so we're really excited about getting to use her and Eevee it's not the property of OSU she's my dog I fully adopted her through the vet hospital but she's still a part of the OSU family she still serves as an ambassador as does Charlie our other pet therapy dog and the other dogs that will be in the program will also be ambassadors of OSU so we're using really our own resources to make a difference you know this program reaches across all facets of this university and beyond we see it touching faculty and employees students children visitors all across campus have interacted with our dogs and we're really excited about the difference they make it always bring smiles as mrs. Hargis mentioned I would like to give you an example we have a freshman from Texas her name is Alex and we got to meet Alex at one of the meet and greets that we did one of the first days of school and in the Student Union and Alex was so excited to see a dog in she teared up she was so excited because she left her dog behind and so she wanted to meet and in love on some dogs and so there's been a long-lasting relationship between Alex and Charlie especially our other pet therapy dog and she just loves to see her and we had that same reaction from many students because they really get excited to see a dog and get to pet and love on dogs and then they don't have to feed them or take him out it's really great for them so it's wonderful and this is pretty much what evey does when she's visiting so we've also been able to see evey work in departments such as the Office of Student Affairs dr. Burt and her staff have kind of thought of some ways that they could use it while they're working with students especially students in crises because it's been proven that people are more comfortable and we'll share and open up a lot better when they've just got a dog in the room and so evey has become great friends with our Office of Student Affairs and they treat her very nice they have their own treats – just for Evy and Charlie there and so evey can go and help in those situations it does help put the students at ease we also spend a lot of time in the office of campus life you'll often see the staff members and office of campus life I'm down on the floor with evey and Charlie and they just really make themselves a home so speaking of Charlie we probably should get to meet Charlie – so if Charlie could come out is she available is he available to come out we'll see what happens here we're coming Charlie got a little freaked out by the drums earlier so we're hoping he would be fine you'll see Eva and Charlie really love each other yeah he's a little he's a little scared he's a talker and this is ELISA cable she's been our dog trainer and she's done a great job with both Evy and Charlie so we're gonna try to keep them at bay here he's still a little freaked out by the drums we are hoping to add about eight to ten more dogs within the next year we had 15 applications we took applications in September and early October we've had we have 15 applications I believe we've accepted eight dogs into the program for this fall and we hope to add more and in the coming semesters we're kind of just gonna see how it goes but we're really excited for all the support that we have across campus from all of the different factions so if you see us on campus we would love to stop and greet you and say hello to Evie and Charlie and the other dogs as they come on board thank you very much

5 thoughts on “Pet therapy in work and school | Lorinda Schrammel | TEDxOStateU

  1. I'm all for dogs in the work place if they are well trained, behaved and under control, but as someone who uses a service dog and goes to a college that assigns a therapy dog to each department within the college, I found the their training is often very subpar. They are fine around people, but the second they see my dog almost every single one of them loses their mind. Also, they are commonly left off leash, and many of them have rushed up to me and my dog out of nowhere, or if on a leash bark repeatedly at us. (Notice how excited the speakers dog gets when they bring out the second dog, this could be because they're very familiar with one another, but they should be taught to ignore other dogs while vested as to not distract working service animals. This is a huge blind spot of training that I see in almost every therapy dog. It should be an absolute minimum training requirement.)
    A lot of programs use the dogs that wash out (aka flunk out) of their service dog training, and instead assign them to places to be therapy dogs (this is how my school gets their therapy dogs) They just aren't typically held to the same level of behavior that service animals are.
    This gives me a lot of grief, as I need my dog not to be distracted so that I can go about my day safely. It also creates a social problem for me, as I end up having random people walk up and start petting my working dog because they assume he's a therapy dog. (Notice the blonde woman at 1:35 that walks up to the dog and instinctively reaches out her hand to pet her before she even looks at the handler). I can't be mad at these people, as many places vest their therapy dogs in the same types of vests that service dogs typically wear, and if people expect every department to have a therapy dog, the second they see a well-mannered, vested dog with a not visibly disabled handler, of course they assume it must just be another therapy dog. Even though the vest boldly says Service Dog, many people either simply don't read or weren't taught that there is a difference.
    It also creates a negative space for people who have severe allergies or fear, as they can't avoid these dogs if they are allowed to walk around study rooms and common areas unleashed.
    I'm not saying there's no place for therapy dogs, but there's a lot of factors that come into play and if implemented improperly it can cause a lot of uncomfortable and even dangerous situations. It takes a lot of responsibility to do right, and in the case of my school, there has been many shortcomings.
    If you are an institution that is thinking of implementing therapy dogs, please take these factors into consideration. I'm fully aware of the emotional support that these therapy dogs can offer and the positive impact they can have on the general public, but when that benefit is placed above the safety of disabled handlers, therapy dogs can quickly become another dangerous obstacle that disabled handlers like me have to face in their daily lives.

  2. Hello the greatest info that ive ever had was with the Bevs Booster Guide (just google it) – I found it the best natural method i've followed.

  3. Nice story, she talks to fast and should show what the dog does. Great job Evie and Lorinda! I train my service dog and will be adopting her training mate as we lost our last one not too long ago. The pal will be trained as well but for therapy.

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