Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster

Dog Therapy Team in Hopkins County

dog therapy1 300HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (6/5/13) – After being diagnosed with cancer back in 2000 and having three reoccurrences, Terri Gates, Registered Dog Therapy Team decided after her fourth diagnosis she would start a dog therapy service.
 
In 2006, Terri had surgery for a rare thyroid cancer at UK. After her surgery she had a hard treatment of radiation which burned her esophagus and she began to dwindle in weight. “If it wasn’t for Brody, I wouldn’t have been able to get up off the couch and have any form of stability,” expressed Gates. “I have a picture of me, and Brody lying with me on bed after I had my radiation. He would not leave my side. This was the night before I decided to make him a therapy dog.”
 
After weeks of recovery, and finally feeling up for the challenge, Terri decided to make Brody into a therapy dog.
 
In 2008, Terri and Brody joined a dog therapy organization and were invited to visit schools. At one school in particular, Terri had the opportunity to speak in front of students about her cancer and how Brody has helped her during her healing process. “I remember there was a little kid who didn’t know anybody who survived cancer. A lot of little kids are like that. I felt like I was giving them hope, that people with a rare cancer can still survive,” stated Gates. Terri and Brody were then invited to go to the high schools, fire stations and nursing homes.
 
In June of 2012, Terri and her family moved to Kentucky from Kansas after her husband, Tim Gates, accepted the JROTC teaching position at North Hopkins High School here in Madisonville.
 
dog therapy2Shortly after their arrival here in Kentucky, Terri and Brody made their way to the Veterans Center in Hanson, Brighton Cornerstone Health Care and the Lions Club to visit and share their story. “I really enjoy going to the Veterans Center because my husband is a veteran. I think Brody makes them feel better. I know he does. Like some of the veterans, the ones that can’t move a lot, they are able to run their fingers in his hair and just from their facial expression. You can tell it makes them happy and comforts them,” stated Gates. “There are some days I will go in without Brody and the first thing any of them ask is where Brody is.”
 
Dog Therapy is used to help individuals feel less lonely and less depressed. Dog visits can provide a welcome change in one’s routine or a renewal of old friendships. Individuals become more responsive before and after dog visits. A visit can also offer entertainment or a welcome distraction from pain and infirmity. Some individuals often talk to the dogs, sharing their thoughts and feelings. It has been known that stroking a dog or a cat can lower blood pressure and the use of hands and arms, stretching and turning also gives them exercise. These visits make it easier for two strangers to talk. It gives a common interest and provides a focus for conversation. Many people who live in nursing homes, hospitals, and assisted living homes had to give up their pets and miss the casual acceptance their pet would have given them. A dog doesn’t pay attention to age or physical ability but has the ability to accept individuals for who they are. The benefits of dog therapy can continue after the visits. Visits can leave behind memories not only from the visit but from past experiences as well. It offers something people can share.
 
“I really think it’s important to have therapy dogs, I know what Brody has done for me emotionally and I have seen what it does to other people old and young,” Gates expressed.
 
In order for Brody to become a therapy dog he had to be at least a year old and well-behaved. He also had to have the ability to know the basic commands such as; sit, stay, and heel. He also had to be able to handle loud noises. “I personally feel they need to be a little older. Brody was four when he started and he’s even better now,” stated Gates. “He’s more disciplined now.”
 
Depending on which organization you go with, all dogs have to have their rabies shots and a fecal test done to make sure they aren’t carrying any parasites that can be transferred to humans. They have to be able to pass an evaluation the organization provides. The organization wants to make sure that a dog isn’t going to bark at loud noises or be aggressive towards people. They look for dogs that can walk up in any situation and remain calm and obedient. They want the dogs to be friendly and to adapt to situations. They want a dog people won’t be afraid of petting.
 
Scenarios are setup with walkers and wheelchairs and people screaming and throwing things. “When they did Brody’s evaluation, he never once turned his head. He never got startled, nor did he bark,” Gates stated.
 
“I would like to have more people get involved with dog therapy. So many people out there need it,” Gates expressed.
 
For more information about Terri and Brody Dog Therapy Team you can visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/brody.therapydog, or if you are interested in becoming a part of a dog therapy team you can contact Terri Gates at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
 
You can also visit http://www.therapydogs.com/index.aspx, which is the site of the organization Terri is registered through.
 
Amber Mena
SurfKY News
Photos Provided by Amber Mena

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

3/13 - 16
3/13 - 16
button coupons

Stock Report

1 DOW 18,030.21
+6.04 (0.03%)    
2 S&P 2,081.88
-0.29 (-0.01%)    
3 NASDAQ 4,773.47
+8.05 (0.17%)    
3/13 - 16
3/13 - 16
button classifieds

In Other News...

Bison Auction Set for Jan. 31 at LBL

GOLDEN POND, Ky. (12/24/14) — A public auction to reduce the size of Land Between The Lakes’ bison herds will be held… Read More

'Frozen' Plays to One Last Packed House at Living Word Church

CENTRAL CITY, Ky. (12/24/14) — The members of Living Word Church in Central City presented their final performance of… Read More
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

December 24, 2014 6982

Christmas Eve Bloody Brawl Erupts on Dulin Street

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis
December 19, 2014 5996

Armstrong Mine to Layoff 39 by End of Day

in Top News For All Sites by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
December 19, 2014 5182

Dawson Springs Man Charged with Sexual Abuse of…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Detective Sean McCance
December 19, 2014 4662

Woman Flown to St. Mary's after Two-Car Collision

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Trooper Stu Recke
December 19, 2014 3898

Vehicle Fire Causes Traffic Back-Up on Pennyrile

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis
December 23, 2014 3666

Couple's Alleged Dispute over Blanket Leads to…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
December 19, 2014 3613

Vehicle Explodes into Flames on Pride Avenue

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Gwen Smith
December 23, 2014 3173

Alleged Theft at Walmart Sends Two to Jail

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
December 22, 2014 3024

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Dec. 22, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
December 20, 2014 2836

KET’s Kentucky Life Segment to Feature Old…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Today

December 24, 2014 6982

Christmas Eve Bloody Brawl Erupts on Dulin Street

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis
December 23, 2014 2515

Disturbance Results in Vehicle, Foot Pursuit,…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Officer Tyler Russell
December 23, 2014 2215

Hopkins County Grand Jury Indictments

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Karen McKnight
December 24, 2014 1110

'Frozen' Plays to One Last Packed House at Living…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
December 24, 2014 1035

2014 Looking Back: World Saddened at Death of…

in Top News For All Sites by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
December 24, 2014 1032

Statewide Broadband Initiative Launched

in Top News For All Sites by Office of the Governor
December 24, 2014 975

True Gift of Christmas Trumps Evil by Richard…

in Top News For All Sites by Richard Nelson
December 24, 2014 905

KCC Hosts 'Gift of Life' Opportunity

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
December 24, 2014 778

How to Avoid Post-Holiday Shopping Crowds

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
December 24, 2014 764

Holiday Waste by the Numbers

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News

SurfKY News Group, Inc.
Corporate Office & Studio
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431
270.452.2727 (phone)
  •  270.452.2249 (fax)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social fbsocial twsocial yt
social gpsocial flrsocial rss