Pet Therapy for Autism in the New York Times

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[Source: The New York Times]

SHADOW, a black Labrador retriever, knows how to interact with people without overreacting to them — a necessity for a well-trained therapy dog, said her owner and handler, Ani Shaker.

Considered “bombproof,” meaning she will remain calm in nearly any situation, Shadow, and Ms. Shaker, volunteer at the Anderson Center for Autism in Staatsburg, N.Y., in the Hudson Valley north of New York City.

“As soon as I get her working vest out, she jumps up and her little tail starts wagging,” Ms. Shaker said. “She loves the work. That’s what she lives for, and I can tell she knows she is helping someone else feel good.”

Shadow and Ms. Shaker, an equestrian trainer, are one of six teams that have been volunteering at the Anderson Center for two years. They are part of the Good Dog Foundation, a nonprofit based in New York that provides therapy services throughout the East Coast.

Read the Rest of this Article in the New York Times

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