Therapy Dogs Come To Help

December 19, 2012 Updated Dec 19, 2012 at 9:19 AM EDT

By WKBW News
By Jaclyn Asztalos

...
December 19, 2012 Updated Dec 19, 2012 at 9:19 AM EDT

GETZVILLE, NY (WKBW) - Argie, 7, and Penelope, 3, are more than man's best friend.

"Together they have 35 working titles in obedience, agility, hunting and gather but their most important one is therapy dog title," Owner and Trainer Andrew Skolnick said.

They are giving therapy for almost any ailment you can think of traveling around Western New York with their owner and trainer Andrew Skolnick, helping people in all sorts of ways.

They visited the Weinburg Campus to put on a show for the seniors who live there. The dogs performed many tricks, including jump through the hoops and hide and seek but it wasn't all fun and games. The dogs also cuddled close to the residents.

"They are so beautiful and they are showing their love for him," resident Arlene Newman said.

Last week, the duo, along with these other dogs, were at UB helping students deal with end of the semester stress.

"Everybody is stressed in their lives. If you just pet a dog, put your hand on a dog your blood pressure goes down 10 points," Dog trainer Pamela Rose said.

It's not easy to become a therapy dog. The animals have to have some very specific traits.

"What's required of these dogs is to have a fearless disposition, not afraid of anything. Something falls on them like a bed pan they shouldn't react with fear and they have to love people and have basic manner and obedience," Rose said.

Therapy dogs all over the country are making a difference in people's lives. The recent tragedy in Connecticut has many children devastated.

Therapy dogs were brought in to comfort those kids. When Skolnick was asked about the importance of the dogs there, he got emotional.

"I wished I could have been there with them," Skolnick said.

It seem as though Argie and Penny feel the same, as they are always ready to serve, love and protect everyone they meet.