We can all agree that going to the doctor or having to stay in the hospital can be extremely stressful.

Thankfully, local Hudson Valley hospitals provide a special type of therapy program that spreads happiness and eases the stress of going to the hospital: Therapy Dogs.

Therapy Dogs Visit Local Hudson Valley Hospitals

A few months ago we introduced you to Case, who is a therapy dog that works at Vassar Brother Hospital in Poughkeepsie, New York. While at work, Case walks around the hospital with his "fur parent" to spread happiness and make stressful moments a little easier.

Robyn Scarchilli, Northern Dutchess Hospital
Robyn Scarchilli, Northern Dutchess Hospital
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Case received his training through The Good Dog Foundation, his training specialties include Emotional support and Companionship.

Back in March, we spoke with Robyn Scarchilli, who is the Associate of Public/Community Affairs at Northern Dutchess Hospital, and she tells us that each hospital in the Nuvance network has a therapy dog program.

Of course, the therapy dogs like Case are a hit. Scarchilli adds:

In a high-stress environment, sometimes all you need is to pet a dog to feel better.

Meet Piper the Northern Dutchess Hospital Therapy Dog

Recently, Northern Dutchess Hospital shared a video of their therapy dog Piper. In the video posted to Facebook, you can see how Piper's presence alone brings so much happiness to patients and employees alike.

Northern Dutchess Hospital writes "Healing comes in many forms — but it's always PAWsitive!" Piper is a Standard Poodle and at 9 years old her "superpower" according to Northern Dutchess is "her intuition of who needs love and support in any room she enters!"

Take a look at Piper at work below:

Piper and her handler have been working at Northern Dutchess Hospital for 2 years, and down the road at the Rhinebeck Reformed Church she's known as Pastor Piper. She attends Coffee Hour at the church as well as spending her time at the hospital.

How Can Your Dog Become a Therapy Dog?

Not all dogs are made to become therapy dogs. However, if you think your dog has what it takes there are different tasks they must complete.

According to the American Kennel Club, Therapy Dogs must be "Certified/registered by an AKC-recognized therapy dog organization" as well as other qualifications. You can learn more at AKC.org.

As a reminder, Therapy Dogs are different from Service Dogs and it's considered unethical to "attempt to pass off a therapy dog as a service dog for purposes such as flying on a plane or being admitted to a restaurant" as mentioned by the AKC.

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