Cairn Terriers and West Highland White Terriers (Westies)
TheraPets of Indiana, Inc. uses Cairn Terriers and West Highland White Terriers (Westies). Terriers are sensible, confident, independent, but friendly dogs. Alert, intelligent and long-lived, they seem to have an inborn affinity for children. They are intelligent, quick to learn and surprisingly sensitive.
Cairn Terriers may be of any color, except white, while the Westies have a beautiful, shiny white coat. Both have bright, button eyes, shaggy eyebrows and a black nose. The Terriers’ size makes them great for a therapy dog, as they can curl up and snuggle in the arms of even the youngest patients.
TheraPets of Indiana, Inc. has had as many as 26 working dogs. The original team included Molly, MacIntosh (“Big Mac”), Maggie Mae, Lilly, Stella, Lucy, Ethel, and Charlotte. Some of the other dogs you might see today include: Brady, Macy, Allie, Gabby, Reggie, Bailey, Fergus, Izzy, Ashley, Bridget and Pearl.
The dogs and volunteers are trained to provide pet therapy in any area in the hospital, nursing home, school, library, funeral home and home settings. Although the dogs (and volunteers) are adaptable to all situations, each also has their own specialty areas. Some of the specialty areas include: comatose patients, intensive care units, hospice care, bereavement, critical care, rehabilitation, adult and pediatric mental health. Many have a special place in their hearts for the pediatric patients and others love the geriatric population.