What makes a good therapy dog?

Therapy dogs are known for for working with elderly, disabled people, and children.

In Aiken, SC, a film "Paw Prints: Serena's Story," will premiere on Oct. 11 at the Aiken Center for the Arts. It's the story of a stray German shepard whose special demenor has helped bring joy into the lives of local schools, hospitals and therapeutic counseling centers.

Serena's owners, Steve and Doris Briggs, adopted the stray from a local shelter, according to the AikenStandard.com, they soon noticed five special qualities as a therapy dog.

  1. She possesses a calm demeanor
  2. She possesses the temperament and discipline needed to work in highly active environments with distractions and unanticipated interactions.
  3. She is able to connect with different people: Serena travels to VA Hospitals to visit wounded veterans, and places to visit children and families at risk, among others.
  4. She possesses special qualities to advance human health and well-being through positive interactions.
  5. She is able to be touched by people and remain calm and alert. Children will go up to Serena and touch her eyes, her nose. They connect with her in a special way.

Therapy dogs are popular guests at Assisted Living and Continuing Care residences in North America.