Jack’s view as to how and why he became a Therapy Dog
Jack is owned by Carol, one of our fabulous West Lake receptionists. She helped him write this article!
From the day I was adopted from the Sangamon County Animal Control Unit, I knew I was destined to become a therapy dog because I loved all people and other fury friends. I just had to convince my new mom.
Together as a team, we started obedience classes. Wow, I needed those classes!! During our classes we could hear other people talking about their training to become therapy dogs. It sounded like a great adventure and such a rewarding experience because who doesn’t want to make people laugh and smile. During our training, we met a lady named Rose who has a group of people who take their dogs to visit nursing homes in Springfield. We joined up with the group so we could determine if this was something I could do. After a few test runs, my mom was convinced that I could become a therapy dog because she saw how I loved to visit people and she saw how happy it made the residents. From there, I finished my obedience classes, passed my Canine Good Citizen test and then I was in class learning how to become a certified therapy dog. The training took time (because I’m not the most focused guy). After training, we took our test to become a certified therapy dog with Therapy Dogs International (www.tdi-dog.org). The test was challenging but we did it.
Our first visit was to St. Joseph’s home in Springfield. I was so excited I could hardly contain myself. Everyone was reaching out to pet me and hug on me and WOW you should have seen all of the smiles. It was a great day!! Now I visit other nursing homes in Springfield and throughout central Illinois. I even get to travel to Decatur and visit patients at Decatur Memorial Hospital. Plus, as you may have seen recently in the State Journal Register, I also get to have children read books to me at the library. That is so fun because the kids laugh and giggle and after reading they get to play with me for a little bit. I love my job being a Therapy Dog. It is very rewarding and the joy it brings to people cannot be measured. I am happy to say that I have received my Active Outstanding Volunteer Certificate from Therapy Dogs International because I have completed over 150 therapy dog visits. That is a lot of awesome hugs, kisses and tail wagging great times!!!
Read about another one of our patient's, Gabbie, who also loves books!
The early indications of failing kidneys (chronic renal or kidney failure) include a marked increase in water consumption and in urination, weight loss, decreased appetite, and in some cases, occasional vomiting. If these signs are observed, the owner should have the cat seen by their veterinarian immediately. Typically these signs are seen in an older patient (greater than 10 years of age).
When you take your cat into the veterinarian, the doctor will perform a physical exam and a blood test to diagnose kidney disease. Depending on the results, a treatment plan will be formed. Kidneys remove toxins from the body, and when kidneys are not functioning properly, your cat will start to show the above the clinical signs.
There is no cure for kidney disease, but there are several treatments that can be done to help control clinical signs and improve the quality of life. We often treat our kidney failure cats with fluids under the skin, appetite stimulants, and a low protein diet. Sometimes gastroprotectants will be used to help with nausea caused by the increased toxins in the body. Each cat will respond differently to treatment depending on the stage of disease they are in at diagnosis and what is causing the disease.
If you think your cat is showing signs of kidney disease, please call your veterinarian today to make an appointment. The earlier treatment is started, the better your cat will feel and more can be done to suppress the disease into earlier stages. Our mission is to provide high quality, compassionate veterinary care with a personal touch. We strive to maintain a friendly and comfortable environment for pets and owners and are committed to building strong, respectful, and honest relationships with our clients. Through teamwork, we are dedicated to ensuring the best care possible and treating pets as if they were our own.