Esther's Friends has partnered with Rainbow Animal Assisted Therapy and, because of your support, has adopted an American Brittany puppy!
In honor of our sweet Esther, Rainbow Animal Assisted Therapy has chosen to name her Dogwood's Viola d'Amore with a call name of Eva. She is very loving and amazingly shares the same March 20th birthday with Esther!
Our goal is to continue to support Eva and provide for her first year veterinary costs and specialized training to become a certified therapy dog.
Please consider making a donation and click the "Support Our Therapy Dog" button below. Thank you!
March 2023 Update! Eva is turning three this month - and has accomplished so much. Her work each week varies, but she attends zoom visits with children who are too ill to have an in-person visit from the dog, visits school-aged children with physical and cognitive disabilities, and makes in-person hospital therapy visits.
Each week Eva also continues her obedience training and agility work. She has so much energy - and is so fast! Eva has been swimming and enjoys long walks. Her therapy skills are improving by leaps and bounds - she has begun to be able to respond to speaker/digital voice commands from patients! Occasionally, Eva also assists at Rainbow, showing newer dogs her therapy skills.
August 2022 Update! Eva had her first day helping at the hospital. She saw five children and worked for an entire hour! Eva started virtual visits and training this week at another hospital as well. We are so proud of all her successes!
June 2022 Update! Eva has passed her Introduction to Animal Therapy Class. She has moved into more advanced training and is now working with individuals in various settings as she continues down her path of becoming a certified therapy dog! She recently added Canine Good Citizen Community and AKC Novice Trick Dog to her title.
Esther's Friends' therapy dog visits children at various hospitals throughout Chicagoland. Spending time in the hospital with Esther, we know first-hand the impact of having visitors and a loving presence. It steadied her vitals; it calmed her; it made her smile. Knowing that hospitalized children will have a dog visitor to provide comfort and snuggles reminds us of all the hospital snuggles we had with Esther. It brings us such joy to think of all the new friends our dog will make as she helps children to improve their health and quality of life.
For those unfamiliar with the therapy dog program, Rainbow Animal Assisted Therapy is a volunteer organization that has been helping the community since 1987 by providing dog therapy services for those with mental, emotional, and physical disabilities throughout Chicagoland. Rainbow Animal Assisted Therapy dogs go through extremely rigorous obedience and therapy skills schooling before they are certified by the therapy dog program. In the children's hospital setting, therapy dogs have many benefits including easing depression, helping relieve pain, assisting patients to gain physical and emotional strength, and providing social simulation. The dogs play games with the children and offer love, adding joy to what can be difficult times.
Thank you for helping us to provide a new friend for the pediatric inpatients of Chicagoland. We cannot wait to share more pictures of Eva with you!