Meet Boo Boo Bear
Boo Boo Bear (aka Boo Boo) is a Dogue de Bordeaux, otherwise known as a French Mastiff. Most of us may have first encountered the Dogue de Bordeaux at the movie theater in 1989 when the breed stole the movie “Turner and Hooch.” Since then, the imposing dog has made headway into people’s hearts and homes. His personality ranges from aloof to outgoing and at times comical. The Dogue de Bordeaux is vigilant and courageous, loving and devoted and also enjoys people. He was just the kind of dog that would fit nicely with the work that COGI was doing with those struggling with addiction.
Therapy Dog Certification
Boo Boo received his first level of certification through Love on a Leash. The primary function of Love on the Leash and a therapy pet is to brighten someone’s day. The membership/certification with Love on the Leash focuses on the social side of therapy work. Boo Boo visits nursing homes, and any other service oriented agency where he may be invited.
The Benefits of a Dog in Therapy
Cynthia Chandler, author of Animal Assisted Therapy in Counseling, points out that the positive benefits to be gained from therapy can be more immediate when a therapy pet is involved, especially when working with a resistant client. The desire to be with the therapy pet can sometimes override the client’s initial defenses (Chandler, 2005). She further points to the natural relationship that occurs between dogs and humans which can result in quick bonding and trust between the client and dog in a therapeutic setting. According to Chandler, this bond between the pet and the client also helps to facilitate a bond with the therapist, as the feelings of affection and trust for the pet are eventually transferred to the pet’s therapist.
Animal-assisting therapy can help even the most broken and jaded person rediscover his or her deepest inner sources of compassion, which is an essential step for any addict who hopes to finally ascend from the pit of despair and shame that dominated his or her existence for so long. Before those with a history of substance abuse can hope to find lasting sobriety, they must first rebuild their self-esteem to the point where they actually feel strong enough to accomplish difficult things and worthy enough to deserve the happiness and peace that was denied them during their years of battling against alcoholism or drug addiction.