Ozzie the Animal Assisted Therapy Dog

Please Note: The dog in the accompanying photograph is the subject of the story, but any persons shown are probably not those in the story.

Photograph of Ozzie dog

Ozzie was visiting at a facility, where the attendant escorted us to each room. Most of the individuals were not interested and many of them were in a fetal position.

When we went to the last room, the patient, Bill, was asked if he wanted a visit from a therapy dog. He agreed to the visit. It was unbelievable the way Ozzie and Bill's eyes met. Ozzie immediately put his head on Bill's lap. During the visit, Bill asked questions about Ozzie, like his age, name, what he liked to do.

We left the room, went to the elevator to leave the facility, and the escort came running after us, "I can't believe it… Ozzie got Bill to talk. Every day we try to get Bill to talk in our group sessions, and he never speaks to anyone. He's not spoken a word to anyone. Ozzie got him to talk for the first time!"