September 5th was a special day for Bayfront Health Punta Gorda volunteer, Nancy Dreyer, and her pet Chiweenie (Chihuahua and Dachshund mix), My Tai. This day marked My Tai’s hundredth visit to the hospital to interact with patients and their families as a member of the hospital’s Pawsitive Healing Pet Therapy Program.
The program was created to enhance the quality of patients’ stays at Bayfront Health by improving their mood and rate of healing. Members are trained by a certifying organization that makes sure the animal is friendly, affectionate and will provide comfort to those in need.
Dreyer first spotted the Dachshund mix on the Lee County Animal Services website and adopted her, knowing the loving dog would make a perfect pet therapy partner. She applied for certification with the Alliance of Therapy Dogs. The team completed the necessary training and testing and now makes two visits each week to the hospital.
“Offering love, smiles, joy and companionship—and a few dog kisses—to those in need of some relief from their current situation which may be causing them pain makes it all worth it,” said Dreyer.