IDAHO — A group of furry four-legged friends are helping serve our community by providing therapy to those in need. The Go Team Therapy and Crisis Dogs are bringing joy and smiles to people all across Idaho.
"At first, I wasn’t sure that this was going to be a real thing," Cheryl Minto, Go Team volunteer said. "You think therapy dogs, do they really do that much? But, the joy that you see in people's eyes is just amazing."
“We take our own dogs, we train them, and take them out into the community to bring joy and smiles to other people," Minto added.
The team goes to assisted living facilities, the airport, the VA, the Red Cross, and schools to name a few.
"We go anywhere where people are interested in having somebody come and bring joy and smiles," Minto said.
Her dog, Winston, a border collie has been volunteering with the Go Team for four years now. Something Minto knew she wanted to do after taking him to visit her aunt in an assisted living facility, and the difference she saw it made for her.
"Winston loves all the extra attention. Every time somebody pulls out a phone he thinks they want to take his picture so he’ll pose," Minto said. "He loves kids, he loves the older people, and he just loves to get his butt scratched."
Winston, alongside several other dogs, are bringing joy and smiles to so many around our state. Most recently they were at the Idaho Sportsman Show connecting with hunters and anglers.
"My favorite part is seeing that joy and actually making a difference," Minto said. "We went to the VA one day and we were talking to this gentleman that was in the hospice wing and when we came out the nurse said that she had been trying to talk to him all day and he wouldn’t say a thing but we went in with the dogs and he was talking to the dogs."
The Go Team is always looking for more owners and their dogs to volunteer. Of course, all dogs are the best, but they are looking for specific ones.
"What makes a good therapy dog is a calm demeanor, being good around people and other dogs," Minto said. "And being very interested in being petted by people of all ages, and not being scared or anxious."
For more information on the Go Team, or to become a volunteer, click here.