This is the first time in my life that we haven’t had a dog as part of our family. And if you do have pets, you know, that they do become a family member. Plus having been in the medical field, I have seen the amazing effect dogs have with patients. So when Nicole from Tribute Books contacted me, it was an instant yes for me to host the author of this book. So please help me welcome Barbara Lampert and Charlie to our group.
BARBARA LAMPERT and CHARLIE
Barbara Lampert is a Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in relationships. She’s been in private practice in Brentwood, California for over twenty years. She considers her work a calling and loves what she does. She has a doctorate in medical sociology and two master’s degrees – one in psychology and one in sociology.
Barbara has adored dogs her whole life. They’re her passion! She considers them the magic on the planet. Barbara has had dogs most of her life and hopes to have at least one by her side always. She notes that for a lot of people, their dogs are their best friends. She loves helping people know that’s ok – that a soul-satisfying relationship may be found with any being and needs to be treasured.
Besides her love of dogs, Barbara is an avid gardener and finds herself gardening in much of her spare time. She sees her garden as a work of art. She loves being in nature – the miracle of growth, the ever-changing landscape, its beauty.
Today Barbara lives happily in Malibu, California with her husband David (married twenty-eight years!) and their six-year-old Golden Retriever, Harry.
The blog tour site is:
Barbara hopes that Charlie: A Love Story will be a tribute not only to a magnificent dog but to all dogs everywhere.
The blog tour site is: http://charlie-a-love-story.blogspot.com/
CMash: I have seen where dogs are brought to nursing homes. So a post either about and/or the premise of “How, why, and what animals can provide and what the effects are when used in that type of setting.”
Thank you so much for having me on your site and giving me an opportunity to discuss bringing dogs into nursing homes and the benefit of dogs in that setting. Nursing homes were the first to make use of therapy dogs. To the best of my knowledge, that practice began about thirty years ago.
Have you ever visited a nursing home? For the most part, they are not happy places, so anything that can be done to bring joy and love into them and to the people who inhabit them is wonderful. To bring dogs into this setting is extraordinarily intelligent. But it has to be the right kind of dog – not every dog will be able to handle this type of setting.
Commonly known as therapy dogs, dogs who visit nursing homes must first have passed the Canine Good Citizen test, which means that they have to be well-mannered and comfortable in a variety of situations and with a variety of people.
The most essential attribute of a therapy dog is a good temperament – being friendly, patient, confident, gentle, and at ease in all situations. When a dog lacking a good temperament is put under stress, poor behavior will surface. Most people believe that a therapy dog is born and not made, though it is not impossible to teach some better behaviors. But I tend to agree with the “born and not made” theory. I am a psychotherapist, licensed twenty-two years, and have been curious about people all my life. As near as I can tell, temperament doesn’t change. Behaviors can, but temperament no.
Having had dogs most of my life, I can think of only two of them who would have made good therapy dogs. Their temperaments were perfect for the role. Both were Golden Retrievers, were calm in the face of chaos, loved all kinds of people, were fine in and actually looked forward to new situations, had a calming effect on people, and made people feel better just by their presence. The effect that both of these dogs had on people was a sight to behold. People they encountered would within a few seconds of meeting them have big smiles on their faces. These two would have been perfect therapy dogs in nursing homes.
Another characteristic of good therapy dogs, I’ve heard, is that they should not be too attached to their owners but instead should be more interested in exploring the world and the people in it. Again thinking of those two dogs of mine, that makes sense to me.
While in one respect Charlie, my Golden Retriever who is the subject of my book Charlie: A Love Story, would have made a good therapy dog, because he was so emotionally wise and intuitive and loved to make people laugh, he was much too attached to me. Far more interested in being with me than being out in the world meeting people and exploring new situations. Lucky me! How blessed I was to have had this magnificent being bonded with me! My very own therapy dog!
A good therapy dog offers comfort and companionship, soothes the agitated and fearful, engages with the isolated, and may even bring laughter to the sad and lonely. A good therapy dog does not discriminate against someone in a wheelchair, or the really old or disheveled but rather gives abundant, unconditional love and acceptance to such people, which in turn can not only calm but heal. It can be very soul-satisfying for a disabled or elderly person to pet the fur of one of these dogs and experience at least a connection, to express affection to some living being who in turn gives this person unconditional love. For a brief moment, this individual may be transported to a happier place, the day-to-day sadness and loneliness temporarily interrupted. Healing? I’d say so.
Again, thank you! It’s been a pleasure discussing this very good topic about man’s (and woman’s) truly best friend.
CMash: First, Thank you for visiting. Very interesting post, which I enjoyed and hope my readers do as well. Being a former RN and my last job was working in geriatrics, I did see, on many occasions, the Big Smile that you mentioned. The Nursing Home where I worked did utilize Pet Therapy on a routine basis.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Charlie: A Love Story tells of the beautiful love between Charlie, a Golden Retriever, and the author, Barbara Lampert. It takes place in Malibu, California. When Charlie turned eleven years old and started having some health problems, a journal Barbara was keeping about her garden quickly became mostly about Charlie. Charlie: A Love Story is an intimate look at an incredible connection between a canine and a human. And as a psychotherapist who specializes in relationships, Barbara brings that sensibility and understanding to Charlie’s story as well. Charlie was Barbara’s loyal confidante and best friend. He was indomitable, had a zest for life and an uncanny emotional intelligence. Charlie: A Love Story is about devotion, joy, loss, and renewal, about never giving up or giving in. But mostly it’s about an extraordinary dog and an extraordinary relationship.
THANKS TO AUTHOR, BARBARA LAMPERT, AND
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