Barksdale Sundae - Ronald McDonald House Therapy Dog
On June 3, 2014, Barksdale Labradoodles placed one of their very special pups at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northwest Florida in Pensacola. This was done through the support of Johnstone Foods - McDonald. Tracy Johnstone lead the way by making a “puppy pledge” that allowed Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northwest Florida to receive this adorable puppy to be used as a Therapy Dood at the home. This beautiful girl was born on June 03, 2014 from AKA’s Rett Tawn Mia and Rivermist Razmataz, both of whom are “Barksdale” Authentic Australian Labradoodles.
Service Dogs perform many different actions to the benefit of humans. The Basic “Service Dog” performs functions for people that are limited by a disability. The Emotional Support Dog helps individuals with emotional problems by providing comfort and support. The Therapy Dog ThD (the category of where Barksdales Sundae falls) provides affection and comfort to individuals in hospitals, nursing homes, and other facilities.
Therapy Dogs bring comfort to those in stress, joy to those who are ill and affection to the lonely. They also work with people in natural disasters. In South , we have had many natural disasters and man-made disasters. When therapy dogs are brought into these situations, it brings a symbolism of normalcy. An example of the value of the ThD was witnessed when Sandy Hook Elementary School suffered shootings of small children, it was therapy dogs that the surviving children began talking to, which, according to their parents, was more than they had been able to share with them. A little girl who hadn’t spoken since the shootings finally started talking to her mother again after petting one of the “comfort dogs.” When teenagers sat around a comfort dog petting and stroking him, they began opening up to each other the pain and sorrow they were feeling.
According to many pastoral and professional counselors, the human volunteer that is in charge of the therapy dog needs to remember that most victims need someone, like a therapy dog, to just be quiet and listen. Tim Hetzner, leader of the Lutheran Church Charities (LCC) K9 Comfort Dogs team indicated in an article from National Geographic, "I think that's a common mistake people make in crisis situations—feeling obligated to give some sort of answer or advice, when really, those who are hurting just need to express themselves."
This is much like “Barksdales Sundae” at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northwest Florida will be experiencing. She will be there for the child or adult to talk to, confide in and love on. Isn’t that what we all want?
The “Barksdale” Team