On a sunny April Saturday, the BeOpen charity foundation invited the participants of the program “A Friend for a Special Child”, their loyal four-legged friends and their handlers-canistherapy experts for a meeting. As part of the programme, children with special needs participate in canistherapy courses under the supervision of experienced canistherapy specialists, and assistant dogs are trained to make it easier for the family to provide the necessary support and assistance to the children.
Over a period of one and a half years, four-legged family members have not only learned the general obedience, learned to go right next to a wheelchair, deliver fallen objects, bring the necessary things, but also have become important incentives for stimulating child activity, self-awareness and development.
Dog handlers-canistherapy experts shared their experiences gained from working with children, their families and the future assistant dogs throughout Latvia — Vladislava Akimova (Riga), Ligija Frisfelde (Valmiera), Mara Semjonova (Liepaja) and Inga Zemite (Limbazi).
We are grateful to the Salaspils National Botanical Gardens for the trust and for understanding that assistant-dogs, that accompany children or grown-ups with special needs, are allowed in public places. Greta, Kleo, Korijs, Jomi and Oris acknowledge this also in their everyday behaviour — at the meeting in the botanical garden the dogs walked only along the permitted paths, while at home they have learned to behave both on street, in the shop, in the school and even in the library.
Please, see some photos from the meeting for your insight, and have a look at the video.
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