My therapy partner in my play therapy practice is my miniature dachshund, Ayni Petra. Her energy level visibly increases when a child enters the room. She is a valuable resource to demonstrate following directions, impulse control, being attentive and above all, play! She is a Registered Pet Partner with Delta Society and has been an invaluable partner in my practice. The majority of my clients selected me because of my therapy dog, Ayni. She energetically does her tricks and allows the empowerment of our child clients by them learning the commands so Ayni will respond and perform her tricks to their delight and self-esteem enhancement..
Recently, we visited a patient in a nursing home who is nonverbal. The humans entering her room was not honored with a response from her. She is diagnosed with early onset dementia with Parkinson's disease. Her eyes sparkled when she saw Ayni and happily held Ayni in her lap. She also observed Ayni following the commands of Bang, Sit, Down, Weave, Leave It and Close the Door. The visit was powerful because Ayni, with her amazing presence, was in the room. Recently, our family experienced the death of a beloved family member. While she was in hospice, Community Hospice of Fort Worth, she was allowed in the room anytime. Once, I looked around the room full of family members and the adults were all smiling, because Ayni was in the room and they were all watching her.