|Holding True to the Popular Phrase: Dogs are Man’s Best Friend|
This Superman does not fly. In fact, the right side of his body became paralysed after a car accident and he is now wheelchair bound. There were times when he couldn’t smile and preferred to sit alone in a corner of the activity hall of a disability home, seeing everyone around him but not really perceiving them. It would have stayed that way, not for the help of a few four-legged furry friends.
For eight weeks, the volunteers of Therapy Dogs Singapore (TDS) brought their beloved pets to visit Superman, who is also mentally handicapped. The dogs took to him immediately and instantly brought life to Superman’s dull gaze. They sat around his wheelchair, walked in between his legs, played simple coordination games with him. A miracle happened one day. Superman kicked a soft rubber ball with his left leg to the dogs and his right leg jerked forward which proved that the right side of his body could move after all!
“He’s a lot happier mentally and emotionally and also more cooperative. He also does the exercises that he normally wouldn’t have done before. He looks forward to our visits every week,” said Fiona Seow, a volunteer with TDS.
Superman is not the only person TDS is trying to help. Together with volunteers from SG Cares, TDS also goes to various homes to organise animal-assisted activities for residents. Through the interaction with, and the unconditional love and affection of TDS’ dogs, the residents could improve their social, emotional and cognitive skills.
If you’d like to help in TDS’ efforts to better the life of the underprivileged, visit Therapy Dogs Singapore or write to email@example.com.
This article is contributed by volunteer writer Trinh Hoang Ly
The photos are contributed by Therapy Dogs Singapore