Therapy Dog Inspires Amputees After Losing Leg
Griff THDD CGC owned by Karen Scott of Versailles, KY
Originally, Griff’s future was set to compete in agility. However, early in his puppyhood, Griff showed symptoms of shoulder trouble in his right leg. After learning that agility was out of question for Griff, a new job was needed for his future.
“Work as a therapy dog seemed like the natural choice for Griff. He is gentle, quiet, and accepting of everyone. The bonus was his desire to be loved and petted by anyone who would talk to him.”
From the beginning, Griff visited nursing homes, libraries and the hospital. However, the Veterans Affair (VA) was his niche in therapy work. For four years, Griff has visited the VA Post Traumatic Stress Disorder unit weekly to help our veterans. This has earned him his advance therapy title from Love On A Leash.
Griff works weekly with our veterans, helping them to interact in a social setting and talk openly about their experiences. Each week veterans know that Griff will be visiting on Thursday evenings, and they are always waiting for him (occasionally with special treats).
Griff also volunteers for the Red Cross (Bluegrass Area SAF Specialist) at the VA. In 2016, Griff earned the Red Cross Exceptional Volunteer Award. The VA Hospice unit also uses Griff for a very sensitive visit assignment. We are available for the “No Veteran Dies Alone” program. This team of volunteers will stay with any veteran in his or her eleventh hour of life, if they do not have friends or family who can be with them. We are honored to be able to participate during this time of need.
After 3 ½ years of specialists, surgeries, and physical therapy, Griff’s doctors decided that his leg needed to be amputated for his comfort. Griff is now an amputee, which has opened his therapy world even wider. He has the ability of relating with many of our veterans who have lost limbs and mobility at war.
Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital heard about Griff and asked us to volunteer in the physical therapy unit. Griff has the chance to visit with many amputee patients each month. He was also invited to visit during the Amputees of Kentucky monthly meetings, and the quarterly Walking School for amputees held at Cardinal Hill.
Griff also enjoys volunteering at libraries where children read to him and at Baptist Health Hospital in Lexington, KY.
Griff has been honored by the AKC with the AKC Therapy Dog Distinguished (THDD) title for making more than 400 visits to help others.