Therapy Dogs Working Their Magic To Promote Good Health

Sunday, September 25th 2022, 6:32 pm


Folks from all over are celebrating the completion of Scissortail Park. The lower park opened Friday and the celebration has been going on all weekend.

Dogs are not just man's best friends, but a friend to everyone they meet.

Their names are Groot, Hank and Eleanor and they're therapy dogs. Jennifer Shepherd said she's been training dogs to counsel humans for 40 years.

“Some dogs cause chaos, our dogs don't do that. Therapy dogs are typically trained to cause calmness,” Shepherd said.

Shepherd said she's been training her dog Eleanor for a little more than a month.

She said she sees how Eleanor and other therapy dogs can change someone's day for the better.

“It calms them down. It literally drops your blood pressure and when you're petting them it puts you in a place of no stress. The dog shows unconditional love,” Shepherd said.

Scissortail Park opened an additional 32 acres of green space. Folks have been exploring, and celebrating, but ended the festivities with self-care Sunday.

“We're really trying to focus our efforts on the importance of mental health and the time to recharge,” Kimberly Gamalski said.

The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse said every week around 300 Oklahomans are admitted for urgent care or crisis mental health services. Park staff said they plan to offer more opportunities for people to relax.

“We always are busy moving from one thing to the next and it's hard to carve out time for yourself to take care of your mental health,” Gamalski said.

They hope the new additions to scissortail along with some furry friends can get people to take a breath and live in the moment.


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