US Airport Using Therapy Dogs To Relax Travelers

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They say that dogs are man’s best friend, so wouldn’t it make sense for our canine buddies to comfort us in our most troubling hour?

One thing is for sure, flying can be a very stressful experience for most. It seems like one airport has acted upon this in the most charming way.

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Bradley International Airport, Connecticut is now using therapy dogs to help its travelers have a relaxing time during their wait to board planes. Two Bright Spot Therapy Dogs teams are currently doing a six-month job at the airport.

“We are in the process of training eight more teams, giving us a total of 10 teams visiting throughout the week at varied times. Training takes time,” Bright Spot founder Cynthia Hinckley said.

Hinckley explained how the initiative works. “[He/she] familiarizes him/her with the airport so the handler can determine if his/her dog will do well in this environment with the other dogs there working in security,” she said. “It’s a busy, noisy environment not right for every dog.”

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“The teams demonstrate their skills in interacting with people in the public area of the airport. On a third session, Dan takes the team through security and down to the gates to mingle with travelers.”

Executive Director of the Connecticut Airport Authority Kevin A. Dillon believes that the initiative is a step in the right direction. “While the therapy dogs currently greet passengers a few times a week, it is our hope to have them visit the airport daily in the near future,” he said.

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Handlers and dogs must be certified through Bright Spot Therapy Dogs in order to qualify for the job. To this day, all who have received attention from the teams have only had good things to say and it looks like the dogs aren’t leaving anytime soon.

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