Meet Bibo, the wonder therapy dog for the sick and elderly
Zoothérapie Québec matches dogs with health-care workers
A month after adopting a 5-month-old labradoodle puppy, my boyfriend and I split up. In the division of our possessions, it was clear that I would keep the dog – it had been my idea and I was the one who fell in love with its photo on the breeder’s website. The breakup was difficult and I was both overjoyed and overwhelmed by the brown ball of fur that had become my responsibility.
The weeks passed and my grief began to lift, due, in no small part, to my furry companion. It’s hard to stay sad when you are greeted every morning by the kind of unconditional love that only a liver treat can buy. I began to look forward to my walks with Bibo. I smiled at strangers as we passed, slowed down to let toddlers and grannies pet him, and entered into enthusiastic conversations with other dog owners. Training began to pay off, and Bibo could sit, lie down, and, most of the time, stay on command. I was so impressed by his ability to cheer me up that I felt it was almost an obligation to share him with others. “I should take him to old folks homes or something,” I told my friends, pulling out my cellphone to show pictures of my miracle puppy. “Or visit with sick children.” After all, who could resist his charms? The world was an unhappy place, and I had discovered the cure. My friends listened with gentle tolerance.
I was carrying on in a similar manner with a colleague when she mentioned that there was an association for dogs such as Bibo. Zoothérapie Québec pairs dogs with health-care workers who take them for visits to the sick and elderly to bring a little joy into their lives.