Many people believe that animals have a healing touch. Perhaps you have heard of places in America where disabled children go to swim with dolphins and they are changed. Or you know of people who use their horses for therapy. There are even dogs who go to visit sick people in hospital because it is known that owning an stroking an animal is good for your mental health. The programme is called PAT - Pets As Therapy
Well, in her own small way, Tilly the Patchwork Dog did her bit for therapy. I have been seeing an autistic teenaged boy for some months to help him overcome his severe dog phobia. I had been using Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). He had progressed brilliantly and so we decided that we needed to step up a gear with some managed desensitisation.
So one hot afternoon in the summer we brought Tilly to meet him. Soppy, quiet old Tilly mooched around a bit and eventually flopped down in the sunshine. And after a while my brave client came and sat with us. He managed to stroke my beautiful, gentle girl and she let him get used to her without pushing him too far. I nearly cried, it was amazing. This boy really wanted to see her and meet her and stroke her, he was fascinated.
We hoped she would be well enough to visit him again but sadly it was not meant to be. I am just so grateful to her to remember that one of the last things she achieved in her life was to help a boy who wasn't able to help himself. Animals are so trusting and gentle and giving.
When I think how much Tilly gave us in her short life I am truly humbled. Such a special dog.
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