NJ Ferrari Maserati

Around Town
RUMC Receives AHA - AHS Gold Plus Achievement Award
Holiday Buzz: Out & About in NYC & PHL
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Ask The Experts
AskThe Experts - Ranney School
Ask the Experts: Giulio Caruso, DC Total Care Chiropractic and Rehab, P.C.
Ask The Expert - Carolyn Welsh
Bay Wellness
Bay Wellness - Welcome to our newest issue
Bay Wellness - Health After Menopause
Bay Wellness - How Can An Ultrasound Help?
Best Bets
Best Bet - St. Paul’s School of Nursing
2016 Guide - Brock Farms
The Guide 2015 - European Wax Center
Black Book
Cover Story
Jon D’Agostino - A Little Bit City, A Lot Bit Country
Retired Mets Pitcher John Franco
Al Golden - The Golden Boy
Daytripper
Day Tripper - Bushkill Falls
Day Tripper - American Museum of Natural History
Day Tripper - Insectropolis
Eats
Staten Island EatBeat - Arena Steakhouse & Lounge
Eats: Grape Beginnings
Eat Beat - Holiday Buzz: Dining Out for the Holidays
Etc
Etc - Turkey Day
Etc - Walking through Monmouth County
Etc - Aspirin...please.
Fall Guide
Fall Guide 2014 - Fall Events
Fall Guide - Museums
Fall Guide 2015 - Gravity Vault
Featured Artist
Featured Artist - Carol Bruno
Featured Artist - Dorothy Kaplan
Featured Artist - Perry Balog
Gift Guide
Gift Guide - LaRocca Hornik Rosen Greenberg & Blaha Counselors at Law
The Guide 2014 - Male Ego Barber Spa
Gift Guide - Staje The Boutique
Health Talk
Health Talk - Carol Ash, DO
DermOne Welcomes Fitzgeraldo Sanchez, MD
HWB 2015 - Advanced Surgical Healthcare Associates
Health, Wellness & Beauty
Health - Steven A. Morgan, M.D
Health - Kensington Court
HWB 2015 - Lifestyles Medical
Holiday Buzz 2015
Best Bet - David Burke’s Fromagerie
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Restaurant Guide - Osteria Cucina Rustica
Homes
A Family Canvas
Shingle Sensation - Ray and Ali McCabe
Holly Hill
Letter
Warm Winter Wishes
Letter to Colts Neck: Falling Into Good Times
Spring has Sprung!
Living in Colts Neck
Impeccable Style
All The Pretty Horses
La Bella Vita!
Newsletter Articles
A Country Estate: The Mullaneys'
The Home Q&A - H2o Bath & Kitchen Elegance: Green Technology
Eats: Asahi
Our Picks
Our Pick - California Closets of Central NJ
Our Pick - Butch’s Lube N Wash
Our Pick: Woodloch Resort
People On The Move
People On The Move - Arthur Davey
People On The Move - Jenn Lukowiak
People On The Move: Bethany McGovern
Summer Guide
Where Heritage Meets The Sea
Weigh In - What Annoys You Most About The Beach?
Summer Guide 2015 - Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park
The Bay
The Bay - Welcome to the Premiere
The Bay - Can The Weight Be Over?
The Bay - Healthier Heart
The Guide
The Guide 2014 - Turning Point
Our Pick - Career Gaudium
Company Profile - Lifestyles Medical
The Home Guide
The Home Guide - Ronald D. Victorio Architects
The Home Guide - Downtown Tile
The Home Guide - Oasis Backyard Farms
Weigh In
Weigh In: If Hollywood came knocking...
Weigh In - Which Halloween mask wins the creepy award?
Weigh In - What’s your favorite phone app?

Canine on the Move: The Therapy Dog
06/27/2008 - By Teja Anderson

Canine on the Move: The Therapy Dog

“I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love.  For me they are the role model for being alive.”

    These were the words of Gilda Radner, Emmy Award-winning comedienne and actress, whose death at 42 of ovarian cancer helped increase public awareness of that disease and the need for earlier detection and treatment. Gilda would have loved Tilly.     Tilly is the faithful companion of Alison Silver (an art director for this magazine), and she is a therapy dog. Tilly, whose full name is Van Etten’s Waltzing Matilda, spends her weekdays, and often weekends, hanging out with children of all ages who need her peaceful, gentle, and non-judgmental presence while they are facing the discomforts of chemotherapy, blood transfusions, or other hospital treatments. Tilly also spends time at the School For Children in Eatontown, where she works with special needs children at all levels, teaching them about appropriate touch. When at times they grab her face or fur too roughly she does not bite, but waits patiently for them to release her, somehow knowing that it was not done intentionally.

    Alison hoped that Tilly would make a good therapy dog; her first Bulldog had not had the right temperament, and ever since she had seen a program about therapy dogs on “Animal Planet” she knew it was something she wanted to get involved with. So she was delighted when Derek Haight, the trainer at Big Tail Waggin’ in Red Bank, assessed Tilly at 4 months old and thought she had excellent potential. After months of extensive training at her owner’s cost, Tilly was ready to be evaluated by Therapy Dogs International in Flanders, NJ. She passed with flying colors and was ready for immediate placement. Although therapy dogs can be used in many helpful ways – in hospitals, nursing homes, and schools – Alison knew that she wanted the two of them to work in pediatrics.

    I tagged along with Tilly on one of her days of rounds at The Valerie Fund’s Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Department at The Children’s Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center. With pink collar and leash, Tilly was set to go with her very own security badge. The first child to see her, 8-year-old Sabrina, who was there for  blood tests, got down on the floor next to Tilly, threw her arms around her and kissed her repeatedly, remarking on her unusual eyes – one brown and the other light blue. She kept popping back into the room for more hugs and kisses over the next half hour. Riley, 4, was in the next room, hooked up to an IV and not happy. But he brightened up for Tilly, smiling broadly. His mother confided that he hates to have doctors touching him, and that when Tilly sits up on the examining table with him it keeps him calm. Another little girl in the hallway leaves an attempt to break her 20-minute hula hooping record to rush over to Tilly for pats.

    In the “Frequent Flier” ward, where kids are so sick that they keep coming back (or seldom leave), Tilly seems the most at home, jumping clumsily up on to the bed of 12-year-old Jake. “Her butt looks like a face,” Jake jokes, but it hurts him too much to laugh. “Tilly is the best dog in the world; she likes to sleep with me,” he says softly. His mother tells me that they had been running out of options getting Jake through the transfusions, chemo, and testing, but with Tilly’s arrival things got easier. Finally, we go to 7-year-old Rey. Tilly climbs up on the bed beside him and watches him play video games. He takes time out to pat her between each round, grinning widely. When it’s time for his chemo I take my leave.

    Of course, it takes a special person to be the handler of a therapy dog, and Alison is just such a person, delighting in Tilly’s success with the kids. “There was this one little girl at the School For Children who has Rett syndrome who hadn’t ever spoken; after 8 months of hanging out with Tilly, one day she said her name – Tilly – twice, and she patted her!” Alison says, glowing, “You get back so much more than you put into it. The bonds that Tilly and I have created with these children and their families are just amazing.” These children are lucky indeed that Alison and Tilly have waltzed into their lives.



“You think dogs will not be in heaven?  I tell you, they will be there long before any of us.” 

–Robert Louis Stevenson

 

STATS:



Favorite restaurant: Three Dog Bakery



Favorite Song : Bella Notte, from Lady and the Tramp



Favorite Movie: 101 Dalmations



Pet peeve: getting my wrinkles cleaned



Three people you would like to have dinner with: I love everyone, but if it means more food for me, then no one!



For more information about Therapy Dogs International or how to become a therapy dog and handler team, please visit www.tdi-dog.org or call (973) 252-9800.






Advertisers

Eagle OaksThe Grove At Shrewsbury




Powered by eDirectory™