1. Therapy dogs have been used for decades to help people cope with stress.
2. They might not know what kind they’ll be when they grow up, but they start training as early as puphood.
3. Golden retrievers are often therapy pups because of their calm disposition.
4. And they’re pretty smiley, too.
5. Other breeds that are smartypants and sweet in nature, like labs, poodles, and German shepherds, also make friendly recovery companions.
6. And while they might not all be purebred, they all have one thing in common: a love of people.
7. People all over the world benefit from therapy dogs, from São Paulo, Brazil…
9. …and Tokyo.
10. And it doesn’t matter if you’re young…
11. …or a little bit older.
12. Because dogs have been shown to lower your blood pressure and decrease anxiety.
13. Even if you’re not sick! More and more colleges bring in therapy dogs to soothe students’ nerves during exams.
14. Like this corgi on site at a law school during finals week.
15. Sometimes they’re needed after natural disasters to keep stressed families company.
16. And to give rescue workers some love, too.
17. They help soldiers during the mobilization and demobilization process.
18. They’re also called in after violent events like bombings to support survivors or witnesses.
19. Or to help mourners cope after a shooting.
20. Therapy dogs can also help mediate social interaction of children with autism and boost it for people with dementia.
21. And sometimes they’re deployed during special occasions, like a welcome-home ceremony!
22. Volunteers dedicate countless months to help train pups to bring happiness to others.
23. And get the perk of being able to bring them to their own job, too.
24. Therapy Dogs International was established in 1976 in New Jersey.
25. And as of 2012 about 25,000 dog-and-handler teams were registered.
26. Here’s to you, happiness warriors and volunteers!
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