Companion Dog Joins On With Life Team

January 11, 2019

On With Life’s Long-Term Skilled Care Program for Youth and Younger Adults added a new team member to their program – a golden retriever companionship dog.

“Having an in-house pet will enhance our person-centered approach at On With life, said Belinda DeBolt, administrator of the Long-Term program. “The dog will be interacting with persons served and providing spontaneous engagement with them on a daily basis.”

Boo was born in August and joined the team on Halloween, which inspired her name. Since her arrival, she has been busy learning commands, exploring the Owl’s Nest outdoor garden, engaging with the persons served and settling into her new home at On With Life, located on the Glenwood Resource Center campus.

On With Life has a strong history of involving pets into the rehabilitation and care of those served, including the use of pet therapy visits for outside volunteers and utilizing them in therapy interventions to increase engagement.

“Boo is an easy way to get our persons served more engaged in therapy sessions. Whether it’s completing hand-over-hand to pet her or playing fetch with a tennis ball, Boo has become popular with my sessions,” said Karly Herting, physical therapy assistant. “I love watching the smile spread across our persons served faces because to them, “therapy” doesn’t feel like therapy anymore.”

“We’re excited to see how Boo enriches the unique program we’ve built here,” said DeBolt.

Follow along with Boo on On With Life’s Facebook page, @IowaBrainInjury.