I am often asked about the time commitment involved with doing therapy dog visits. People want to get involved with therapy dog visiting with their well trained dog, but question whether they will be able to fit it into their schedule. They wonder if they are required to put in a certain about of visiting hours; or if visiting can only occur on a weekday.
Bright Spot Therapy Dogs, Inc. currently has a volunteer force of 75 people – and at least 50% of these folks have regular 9:00-5:00 work schedules. About 35% of the folks are self-employed and have a flexible schedule. The remaining 15% are retired. Fortunately, the list of visiting opportunities we have (over 60 right here where we’re based in Western Massachusetts), offers a wide range of possibilities for weekdays, evenings, and weekends. There literally is something for everyone.
I work mainly from home and have a flexible schedule which allows me to visit my two facilities with James during the day on Wednesdays and Thursdays. These days accommodate the other needs of my weekly schedule. People who visit in hospitals often visit at night after work. This is actually a very good time to visit a hospital because patients are more apt to be in their rooms rather then off having a test or being examined by a physician. You simply would select a visiting location that accommodates your individual schedule and set up your visiting times with the point person at the facility.
Some people visit once every-other-week, others visits as much as 2-3 times weekly. Again, it’s all about what works for you. And, if you want badly enough to do this meaningful activity with your dog, you can make it work for you. Don’t miss out… Many volunteers have told me It’s the best thing they’ve ever done!