Dogs with Jobs Day: Celebrating the positive impact of dogs on emotional wellbeing in Wales

Techniquest Cardiff is holding a “Dogs with Jobs Day” on Saturday 23rd November, which will celebrate the work of assistance, guide and therapy dogs.

An assistance dog with a sign which reads, "I provide my human with freedom and independence (and a whole lot of smiles and love)."
Although Labradors are often associated with providing assistance to disabled people, therapy and assistance dogs can be a range of breeds. Image: Can Do Canines via Flickr. Some modifications applied. Creative Commons license:

Dog owners are meeting at Techniquest tomorrow to celebrate the positive impact of their furry friends on their emotional and physical wellbeing.

The “Dogs with Jobs Day” event will feature stalls from Guide Dogs Cymru, Pets as Therapy, Medical Detection Dogs and RSPCA Cymru, as well as a therapy dog session to showcase how dogs can help their owners emotionally.

Sian Healey, a guide dog owner from Cardiff who will be organising the stall for Guide Dogs Cymru, said, “My guide dog has been a real asset. I suffer with anxiety and when I only had my cane, I was too anxious to go out. Guide dogs help with physical and practical things but also provide emotional support too.”

Many dog owners can attest to the positive emotional impact that their dogs have on them and their families. However, the emotional and therapeutic benefits of dogs for disabled people are often overlooked.

Techniquest in Cardiff Bay.
The event will take place on the exhibition floor at Techniquest in Cardiff Bay and will serve as a celebration of the work of dogs and a means to educate people about the emotional benefits of owning assistance and therapy dogs. Image: Chris Sampson via Flickr. Some modifications applied. Creative Commons license:

According to Therapy Dogs Nationwide, these therapeutic benefits are not newfound: dogs have been used in the care sector for over forty years, with many volunteers inspired by the work of Lesley Scott-Ordish. Scott-Ordish pioneered therapy visits for the elderly in homes and hospitals through the Pat Dog scheme, which she founded in 1983.

Clover Daniels, who will be attending the event with her assistance dog, Bradley, said that he has been “invaluable”, adding, “I am looking forward to attending the event with Bradley. I’m hoping that it will educate people on the benefits of assistance dogs and perhaps encourage more people like me to own one.

Bradley has given me loads of emotional support just by being here. I have to go out every day to walk him and let him out, which gets me out and about, and he is so loving when I’m feeling down.”

Bradley, a 5-month-old assistance Labrador cross, in his harness.
Bradley, Clover Daniels’ assistance dog. Clover has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and 5-month-old Bradley provides her with emotional support, encouraging her to leave the house on ‘bad days’.

The event at Techniquest, in Cardiff Bay, will run all day from 10:00 am onwards. Anybody is welcome to attend but only assistance, therapy and guide dogs are allowed at the event. Tickets can be found here.