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The training allows them to go into public buildings and comfort people in need. Loud noises and unfamiliar places don’t frighten them. Some therapy dogs go into places such as hospitals and nursing homes. The serve as warm and caring friends to children, but they also do more.
When the patients visit with the dogs, the patients are cheered up. Studies show that when people pet animals, their blood pressure and heart rates go down. In one town in California, therapy dogs have become children’s reading buddies.
They enjoy petting the dogs, and look forward to their visits. The dogs belong to a therapy dog group called PAWS for Healing.
Eight of these special dogs have been trained to be listening companions for young readers.
Most dogs just live with their families, but some dogs have very special jobs to do. Other dogs are trained to sniff out drugs or explosives.