Hospitals & Medical Centers
It’s been a true honor and pleasure partnering with Rainbow for the last 10 years in providing dog therapy visits for our patients at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital and Advocate Children’s Hospital, Park Ridge. Everyone in the organization is wonderful to work with! They all take pride in the quality of services provided, and we can be always sure that any Rainbow handlers and dogs sent to our hospitals are of the highest quality and exemplary training. Rainbow has helped us build a strong and highly-regarded dog therapy program at our hospitals and we are so very grateful for the partnership with Rainbow. We feel privileged to be one of your service organizations!
Rainbow’s volunteers and dogs are one of a kind. They always make a request possible. Our patients and families truly look forward to their weekly visits, and ask me, “Are the dogs here today? Which dog do we get to see?” Smiles are found during every visit!
The pet therapy program through Rainbow Animal Assisted Therapy has definitely been an asset to the rehab program and geriatric psych unit at Rush University Medical Center. The teams have ways of motivating people to achieve certain goals such as improving hand strength, sitting/standing, balance, social interaction, and increased mood.
Therapy dogs at Little Company of Mary Hospital provide a valuable opportunity to improve socialization skills for adult patients experiencing physical or mental illness. The dogs provide much-needed interaction for the patients.
Rainbow Therapy is indeed a true partner of NorthShore University HealthSystem. Rainbow Therapy’s staff is knowledgeable and consistently demonstrates care and compassion for their work to our patients and staff. We are beyond appreciative of all the time, energy, planning, and smiles that you bestow upon our patients and staff. Thank you for bringing this special gift that only your dogs can provide.
I have watched pure magic occur when the dogs are here. I see children’s pain and anxiety decrease enormously as they interact with the dogs or even as they watch them from a distance. I see the effects the day before as I tell the patients and families that therapy dogs are coming the next day. I see eyes open with excitement and anticipation and it often results in me hearing a story about their dog that they are missing at home. The dogs are simply the best.
Schools & Libraries
You and your therapy dogs provided numerous opportunities for the students to develop and demonstrate expressive and receptive language skills, gross motor skills, and social skills. Some of the skills this program reinforced were listening to and following directions, taking turns, asking questions, answering questions, naming or identifying colors, and demonstrating knowledge of prepositions. They learned many of the rules for staying safe around dogs. You provide a wonderful service. How lucky we were to have you be part of our program.
Animal assisted therapy dogs have been very beneficial at our school. Students are approached via the idea of starting where each child is and building on their strengths. Working with the students who are highly physically challenged, the volunteers are very patient, giving the students time to process and then respond. They collaborate well with the staff of occupational and physical therapists to find out what works best with each individual. I highly recommend this program to anyone interested in utilizing their services.
Rainbow teams have been providing animal-assisted therapy to students at Timber Ridge Therapeutic Day School in Arlington Heights since 2011. The students at Timber Ridge really look forward to the visits from the dogs. They are like celebrities when they walk into the school. These wonderful therapy dogs bring smiles to both students and staff. The dogs have a calming effect in the classroom and bring a welcome break during the school day.
Children sat one-on-one with big dogs, little dogs, little dogs who thought they were big, young and old dogs, dogs new to Read to Rover, and old pros. They read with gusto while petting heads and rubbing bellies, sometimes laughing at the antics of the jokesters. Without even knowing it, the kids also got read-aloud practice in a non-judgmental atmosphere, interacted with adults, and learned how to behave around dogs. Through it all, the children got to experience the public library in a very favorable way. To a public library, the impact of a successful program can also be felt when people who might not otherwise have come to the library start to come on a regular basis. Reading to dogs was a very new concept 14 years ago. We were lucky that it was so well-received and that it caught the attention of so many people. Being the first library in the area to offer this was exciting!
We have seen tremendous benefits to the children. Children who were initially frightened of the dog learned to interact with the animal. The (handlers) were always patient and reassuring, creating a sense of trust with the children. The children learned to follow directions and were encouraged to talk to give the dog commands. Academic skills were enhanced such as color recognition. The Rainbow Animal Assisted Therapy program is one of the few outside programs brought to our school that is truly appropriate for our students.
Our class loves dog therapy! This year, the students have worked on turn-taking by playing games with "Sadie." Their favorite game is hiding the treat! Students have also built confidence and worked on independence by taking "Sadie" on a walk. They are always so excited to see "Sadie!"
This year the dogs and their wonderful caring handlers have been working with our special needs students. I cannot begin to tell you what a wonderful experience this has been. During their time with the dogs, they are working on their communication and social goals. It has been a joyous and most enjoyable school year because of what Rainbow has given to our school!
The children were very motivated to be part of every session and practiced turn-taking and impulse control through the variety of activities they participated in.