Teacher's pets: Dogs help therapists mend bodies, hearts

Teacher's pets: Dogs help therapists mend bodies, hearts

It may not be a magic bullet or the fountain of youth, but with it, patients on walkers have stood longer; stroke victims in recovery have walked farther; children in hospitals have smiled bigger.

That's what happens when they meet the highly trained, four-legged whizzes employed in animal-assisted therapy or its close relative, pet therapy - although their full-time job is being a dog.

"When I first started doing this," said Susan Raphael, a volunteer pet-therapy handler, "people would say, 'Therapy for a dog? I've never heard of that.'"

Actually, dog psychologists exist. But that's another story. This is, more or less, the story of Lanny, a white Labrador Retriever; Lyla, a Sheltie; and Puma, a black part-Lab, part-Golden Retriever, along with their handlers: Gina McRae, Jenn Sivak and Raphael, respectively.

They can be found brightening up the lobbies or clinics of the University Rehabilitation Center (URC) building, Methodist Rehabilitation Center or Batson Children's Hospital.

Without them, patients trying to restore their limbs and muscles - and, sometimes, their emotions - perform certain tasks. With them, they've been known to perform wonders.

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People of the U: Marcus Blanton

There are almost countless varieties of heirloom tomatoes on God's green earth, and Marcus Blanton is out to find the very best one.

That's no small quest for a man who has personally raised approximately 200 different kinds of tomatoes this year alone at his Carthage residence and has tasted at least 700 varieties.

The campus police officer's lifelong passion for gardening was sown by his
grandmother, who instilled a deep love and respect for nature's bounty. 

"She loved to raise flowers and vegetables," he said. "It just came naturally. I always had a garden, because I always thought I had to have one."

 

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People of the U: Marcus Blanton

Jackson Heart Study update, MPB 'Meet and Greet' top week's agenda

Jackson Heart Study update, MPB 'Meet and Greet' top week's agenda

A couple of interesting events is scheduled for the upcoming week at the Medical Center.

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Urogynecology expert, cytopathologist among new faculty at UMMC

The Medical Center is proud to announce the following additions to its faculty and leadership staff:

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Urogynecology expert, cytopathologist among new faculty at UMMC
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