Tails of Joy Animal Asssisted Therapy, Connecticut

Providing Therapeutic Benefit to People
Through the Use of Animals

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Tails of Joy members volunteer throughout Hartford, Tolland and Windham counties and neighboring towns in Connecticut.

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Prior Years

Still Barking Up The Right Treat

Barking Up the Right Treat Fundraiser

Halloween 2004

Picnic 2004

Mary and Aspen, Therapy Cat

Picnic 2003

Windham Hospital

Barking Up The Right Treat

Patti Lawson, author of The Dog Diet
(March 2006 HCI, Inc.),
entertained with her tale of dogs and human dieting, and how a shelter dog named Sadie made her a better person.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the success of
" Barking Up The Right Treat"

"The Dog Days of Summer"
Patti Lawson

Ever since I've been old enough to remember, I've heard the phrase “dog days” never quite understanding what it meant. I assumed it was those last very hot days of summer that stretch into September when no one felt like doing anything. Or maybe it just meant that in the summer we can at least for a week or so be irresponsible — like a dog. I was wrong on both counts, and I learned so because a dog taught me the meaning of not only this phrase, but a lot of other things as well.

“Don't get a dog,” someone told me almost two years ago. And so I received the worst piece of advice in my life — to this point — and, of course, did the opposite and adopted a little black dog that is now more a part of my life than I could've ever imagined. She more than proved this person to be a complete idiot and anyone else for that matter who exhibited hesitation at my dog adoption plan.

Dogs, unlike many people, are not only dependable, they make us better people. They teach us to look at ourselves like they do and most of us finally learn that happiness really is as Dorothy found out in Oz — right in our own back yards. They show us that we are OK just the way we are and love us for ourselves.

Most of us reach a crossroads at some point in our lives and like millions of others before and after me, I found myself at the four corners of questions a few years ago. You know, those nagging ones: what's next, what's missing, what went wrong, what's important. I found the answers at the most unlikely of destinations, PetsMart.

I, like hundreds of other dog parents, was a different person pre-dog acquisition. Dogs mysteriously and without notice transform their human counterparts into better people.

Our dogs changed us, and we haven't lingered one moment longing for our former selves. In fact, many of us deny personality traits we were previously known for. Dogs are the best shrink out there, the great equalizer of humanity, the soul mate many of us either let slip through our fingers or will never find in human form.

I'm grateful I chose to ignore that bad advice of a few years back each time I'm greeted upon my return from work, or I hear that high-speed tail thumping on the bed when I open my eyes in the morning. I like being needed, and I like having another living creature whose overwhelming joy at my presence is ever noticeable. I'm really enjoying the dog days of my life now and don't have as many questions as I once did because the answers are running before me on four legs with a tail.

Printed with permission of the author.

Read Patti and Sadie's Diet Tips at The Dog Diet

Patti and Sadie in 2005:

Patti has essays coming out in two books in the near future:

"Timeless Legacy" in Chicken Soup for the Grandmother's Soul (HCI)

"Love, Loss and a New Leash on Life", in SINGLE WOMEN...OF A CERTAIN AGE (Inner Ocean)

Write to thedogdiet@aol.com for details.
Patti Lawson and Sadie, The Dog Diet

Intermountain Therapy Animals

Tails of Joy is an ITA Affiliate Organization

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