Airport Therapy Dogs
Airport therapy dogs are exactly what they sound like, dogs meant to provide therapy in airports. These dogs are not sniffing out drugs or there as security; these dogs are just meant to bring a smile to anyone in the airport who wants to be near them.
Airport therapy dogs are becoming more prevalent in U.S. airports where travelers are in need of a friend. Travelers can interact with loving dogs that are looking for a belly rub or even just a hug. The idea behind airport therapy dogs is that you never know why people are flying or what kind of day they have had and traveling can make anyone’s day a little bit more stressful with its long lines, crowds and terrorism concerns; airport therapy dogs are meant to relieve some of that stress.
Airport therapy dogs have to be healthy, skilled, stable and well-mannered. They must also be able to work on a slack 4-foot leash. The airport therapy dogs also have to be comfortable with crowds, sounds, smells and they have to pass through security just like all the other airport workers. The airport therapy dog handlers are taught to watch for people who may be afraid or dislike dogs or those who might have allergies. In most cases the people who like dogs will come up to them. The airport therapy dogs are identifiable by their vests or bandanas that they wear around the airport.
People can come up to the airport therapy dogs and hug them, touch them, talk to them, pet them etc. The whole point is for the dog to make them feel better about whatever it is and if they are already having a good day just to make them smile. The airport therapy dogs are already having a big impact. Anyone who is around them leaves smiling; strangers begin talking to each other etc.
Here are some sweet stories of airport therapy dogs from the New Jersey Herald:
When Claudia McCaskill’s family recently flew home from vacation in Brazil she requested Casey meet the plane to greet her 5-year-old daughter, Carina, who is autistic. She knew Carina would be low on energy and patience and they still had a 2.5-hour drive home to St. Lucie. Casey and handler Liz Miller were there with a gift basket and Carina fell in love with the dog. “Thank you for visiting us at the airport so I would be happy,” Carina said in a video the family made for Casey. Now Carina wants to go back and see Casey again. “I can’t say how much we appreciate what they did for us. It not only helped our daughter, but us too,” McCaskill said.
Before departing from San Jose, a soldier kneeled down and told Henry James: “OK, buddy, you take care of the house while I am gone,” Hubis said.
A woman who said her husband of 40 years told her he wanted a divorce that morning wept on Henry’s shoulder. “He just sat there,” Hubis said. “He knew. He can feel.”
Airport therapy dogs have been a huge success at the few airports where they are working which is mainly within the Los Angeles International Airport; within Miami International Airport; and in San Jose, California’s airport.