What We Do
We work with professionals of organizations we serve using goal-directed Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT), which is significantly different from our “meet and greet” Animal Assisted Activities (AAA). We work with the students who are referred to us by psychologists, social workers, counselors or special-ed teachers within each school. Our dogs are both tools and motivators helping individuals achieve clearly-defined goals set by the professional. We discuss a plan to achieve these goals with the professional; the plan is then implemented through our dogs. The technique we use is designed to improve an individual’s needs, which can be physical, emotional, asocial or cognitive. The primary goal for our programs is to facilitate enjoyable sessions. Below are some examples of goals professionals have given to us in the past.
Animal Assisted Therapy
The programs implemented depend on the needs of the student. Simple goals for students with more basic needs may include: brushing the dog’s fur, brushing the dog’s teeth, petting the dog in a kind manner, giving the dog treats or walking the dog. For students whose needs may be beyond basic, goals may be more complicated and include: overcoming fear, speaking confidently to adults, taking school seriously, bonding with the dog, self-advocating, improving self-esteem, giving the dog commands in a way that the dog will carry them out.
Thanks to the Coloradoan for the above video.
Goals can be to improve interpersonal skills, assertiveness, cooperation, attentiveness, focus, build confidence, build trust, use appropriate tone of voice, positive interaction when frustrated, follow instructions, show independence, not interrupting, accept feedback, implement multiple-step commands, consistency, eye contact first with dog and then transfer to people, deescalate anxiety, physical boundaries, praise dog, stimulate sense of humor, improve clarity of speech, demo/presentation of skills learned.
Youth Correctional Facilities
Goals can be to improve self-control, interpersonal skills, and social skills. Students may work to manage emotions, empathize and respect others, and regain confidence to successfully rejoin the community.
Animal Assisted Activities
Adult Day Programs
The goals are to provide social activities with our dogs and to enhance mental and physical stimulation. These interactions improve self-esteem and increases socialization for adults with multiple physical or mental disabilities.
Memory Care, Assisted Living & Rehab Facilities
These activities give people an opportunity to make conversation with our teams. Goals are to help cheer people up, improve mental function, relieve loneliness, reduce stress, provide a welcome distraction, give people something to look forward to, and provide a normalizing experience to help them cope with their current situations.
Stress Relief & Suicide Prevention
Reducing stress can be as simple as interacting with a dog, which significantly lowers cortisol levels and improves your system’s immune functions. Stress relief events are one-time interactions with people of all ages. Events can be held at schools, colleges, businesses or camps, and help youth as well as adults. Goals for these events are to have fun, allow individuals to temporarily forget stresses, relieve anxiety, and provide affection and comfort through our dogs.
In partnership with libraries, schools and other organizations, Tales 2 Tails provides a relaxed, friendly, and non-judgmental place for children to practice their reading skills. Many children participating in Tales 2 Tails have difficulties reading and because of this, they have low self-esteem and are often self-conscious when reading aloud in front of other people.
Tales 2 Tails builds excitement about reading. Most children seem to naturally love being around a dog. Imagine the positive motivation that reading to a dog, gives to a child as they sit next to, read to, and pat a sweet, gentle, and calm dog. Socializing with dogs makes children feel special and encourages them to read, perhaps sounding out words or asking questions. Children feel less self-conscious about reading aloud in the presence of one whose skills don’t exceed their own and they learn to associate reading with something pleasant. What better way to improve a skill than by practicing the skill!!