How Can a Dog Be a Pioneer?

 Pioneer : “One who begins or helps develop something new and prepares the way for others to follow”

Yes! Dogs were health care pioneers. Over the years, certain dogs have improved and advanced health care in a myriad of ways:

  • The Mercy Dogs of World War1 helped save lives in the trenches of World War.
  • Sigmund Freud’s beloved Chow Jofi joined him in the consulting room and  the lion-like Chow even snored through a few sessions.
  • Florence Nighingale’s first patient , a sheepdog named Cap, became part of the heroic story of the founder of modern nursing.
  • Jingles, psychologist Boris Levinsons ‘s dog, collaborated with the child psychologist to show how a dog could become a co-therapist. Jingle’s work helped convince a generation of psychologists of the value of pet-assisted psychotherapy.
  • Balto and Togo, medicine -toting sled dogs, showed what determination and team work could do when Nome needed serum transported over brutal terrain to prevent a deadly Diptheria epidemic.
  • Buddy, the first seeing eye dog in America, helped created increased independence and access for those with visual impairments.
  • Contemporary therapy dogs broke barriers to bring the healing and hope of the human animal bond to modern health care.

At pivotal moments in history,  these dogs and their human mentors propelled health care forward.

As a humane educator and nurse, I wanted to tell their stories. So I’m excited to announce that my new book, DOGS IN HEALTH CARE: PIONEERING ANIMAL-HUMAN PARTNERSHIPS  will be available summer, 2019. In it, I share the stories of each of these pioneer dogs who broke barriers to bring the healing and hope of the human animal bond to modern health care. Although these pioneer dogs were different  breeds, had diverse roles, and spanned generations, they shared certain core characteristics .

What makes a Pioneer Dog? DOGS IN HEALTH CARE  explores this remarkable group of canines to answer this question.

Who are the Dog Pioneers of today? Here on the blog, I will be sharing stories of  today’s emerging Pioneer Dogs in health care, dogs who are bringing new ways of healing and hope to health care . They are building a knowledge base for the study of animal assisted intervention and animal-human partnerships, especially in mental health care.

Follow my blog. Meet the Dog Pioneers of Health Care: Yesterday , Today and Tomorrow.

Paws Up!


copyright (c) 2019, Jill Schilp, All rights reserved

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