It is hard to believe that it has been two years that our fuzzy canine friend has been hard at work at Atco. Since January 2008 Delta, a six year old Border Collie, has been coming to Atco to participate in Animal Assisted Activities.
AAA is the use of animals to provide opportunities for motivational and educational benefits to enhance quality of life. Delta has been registered with the Delta Society through the Pet Partners Program. It is a coincidence that Delta the dog and Delta the Society have the same name…or maybe not!
While she is at Atco her main job is to have fun with all the folks on the Habilitation Floor. Enrollees benefit from her presence by brushing, walking, and petting her. Other activities include wheelchair games, relaxing, and Doggy WII (this is where Delta thinks she is helping you play the WII by jumping with excitement). Along with many new and exciting activities, the Atco Workshop II Specialists and Hocking College Instructors have saddled up together to provide still more AAA with much larger animals – HORSES!
The “horsing around “began last fall when five Atco associates teamed up with eight riding students to learn about the horses at Hocking College. Students taught enrollees about grooming tools, and how to groom a horse from head to hoof. Students assisted enrollees as they learned how to maneuver the horse by leading it through an obstacle course. Enrollees taught the students about their different abilities and new ways of communication (not always with words).
Using dogs and horses for Animal Assisted Activities can increase stimulation, help develop body awareness, motivate
learning, improve social skills, and increase self confidence. The Habilitation Floor staff is working hard to continue
these activities as well as provide