Programs with Adults
Windwalker Pet Assisted Therapy Teams have become integrated in a variety of settings. Therapy pets provide comfort, joy, and goal directed
activities to improve mobility and socialization. This section provides descriptions of some of the work of Windwalker Credentialed Teams.
The Shirley Tempo Singers
with Karen Lewis and Lily Rose
St. Elizabeth Assisted Living, Providence
The overall goal of Lily Rose's one and half hour program is to bring joy and laughter to residents at St.
Elizabeth's. Lily Rose knows when it's showtime. She brings the joy. Karen brings the opportunity to reminisce through song.
Two times a month, as Lily Rose and Karen enter the living room where residents are sitting, some people start to clap. Lily
Rose and Karen arrive with great fanfare, like Auntie Mame. Karen holds Lily so she can greet each resident. When she is put down on the floor she scoots
around and tries to figure out who has the liver treats. Karen leads the residents in songs, such as "The Lily Rose" song. They also enjoy singing "How Much
is that Doggie in the Window? Ruff Ruff!" They love being silly and laughing together. Karen also leads them in games such as Trivia or "Finish the
Most of the group have memory decline but they find great happiness in Lily Rose's visits and they laugh and share stories
about their lives and pet experiences. Residents who want special individual time with Lily Rose stay a little later. Lily Rose, a Yorkshire Terrier was born with severe
front leg deformities but has a great spirit. Before their work at St. Elizabeth's they had visited the HopeHealth Hulitar Hospice Center weekly for two years.
My Irish Paws
with Shannon, Maggie Mae and JoAnn Sutcliff
Kent Regency, Warwick
The overall goal of My Irish Paws program is to improve involvement and engagement with residents through their
interactions with Maggie Mae and Shannon, Irish Setters. Two times per month residents spend time with the dogs. Residents are motivated to move with activies that
JoAnn leads, such as walking with Maggie, often holding her leash from their wheelchair. JoAnn and Shannon walk right behind. They also improve communications by
giving commands and rewards to both dogs. Residents regularly thank JoAnn for bringing them in.
Maggie Mae & Shannon
with Wags, Moxie, Gracie and Bruce Cummings
and Tori with Gale Cummings
Briarwood Rehabilitation and Health Care Center (Needham, MA) Nursing and Rehabilitation Services
Horace Mann Educational
Associates (HMEA) (Franklin, MA)
*Day Habilitation Programs in Plainville and Franklin, MA
*Employment Services in Franklin, MA
"Canine Presence" was started in 2016 by Bruce and Gale Cummings in southeastern Massachusetts. Their Irish terriers
teams are 'Wags, Moxie, Gracie' with Bruce Cummings, and 'Tori' with Gale Cummings who will complete their PPAT internship in the summer of 2023.
Gale & Bruce have been breeding Irish Terriers for over thirty years, providing love and care which is the
foundational training for their therapy dogs. Key traits are health and temperament. Therapy teams visiting nursing and rehabilitation centers assist in meeting
each individual's needs. The teams help facilitate socialization, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve general well-being.
Therapy teams visiting programs for adults with disabilities assist with social community skills, and further
facilitate effective communication and pre-vocational functional ability. Working with staff, an individual's service plan may include physical therapy goals
such as improving fine and gross motor skills and increasing tactile contact as required for brushing, combing, and building strength and balance as required for
dog handling and walking.
Bruce and Gale hope to start an outreach service providing quality of life comfort visitations to patients in Hospice.
In Gale's words,- "The goal of the PPAT does not simply involve bringing therapy pets in to make patients happy;
it's much more than that. It's a transforming of the energy in the room and the state of mind of the terminally-ill patient as they transition. It eases the
transition of the patient through a special moment of the canine-human bond."
Mia with Carlos Moreilla
(Veterans of the Air Force)
Facilities of the RI Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability(BHDDH)
Every other week Mia works together with Carlos, visiting individuals who have different disabilities and
challenges. Carlos works with staff to develop individual treatment goals to improve mobility, attention, and communication skills. Sometimes they also
work in groups with games to focus on communication, socialization, and self-esteem. Carlos and Mia also visit hospice patients on a regular basis to bring
Agape Pet Assisted Therapy
with Guinevere and Cynthia Vanaudenhove
(Hero is temporarily in hiatus - 2023)
Eleanor Slater Hospital/Zambarano Campus
(Adults with Disabilities and
long-term chronic illnesses)
Village of Waterman Lake Atrium
(Adults living with dementia)
Guinevere, in addition to her pet assisted therapy work with children, has brought joy and comfort to
Zambarano residents since Oct 2010. Cynthia has been providing pet therapy programs at Zambarano since 2000 with her previous Therapy Dogs.
Guinevere and Cynthia visit bi-weekly. Working closely with the Activities Director on individual and group
goals such as socialization, mobility, and communication, they spend 1&1/2 hours providing activities such as brushing, petting, playing ball, sound
buttons, touch games, etc. that are both fun and designed with PT/OT elements that are beneficial in their overall treatment plan. They also spend time
relaxing, chatting, listening to books and getting to know one another.
Guinevere has known some of these residents her whole life. The residents look forward to these visits and
have come to feel that Guinevere is their own dog. Occasionally, Guin makes room to room visits to those who are unable to join in the group sessions.
Guinevere also visits The Village of Waterman Lake Atrium once a month. She provides a social time for the
residents to gather round her on a table to closely interact with her. She and Cynthia provide companionship, story times, beneficial petting & touch,
and other interactive games. Hero also has enjoyed visiting residents and hopefully will be back visiting soon. This is a very enjoyable program that
brings comfort, smiles and laughter.
Lizzie's Therapy Tails
with Lizzie and Heidi Mayers
Benchmark Senior Living, Franklin and North Attleboro
The overall goal of Lizzie's program is to improve wellness and feelings of joy with elderly residents
and the employees who work at Benchmark.
Every other week for one hour, Lizzie and Heidi visit with the residents of Safe Harbor, the Alzeimer and
Dementia Care Unit at Benchmark. Their interactions with residents help to educate and bring memory, joy, and feelings of love. Lizzie also
visits the Assisted Living Unit once a week to bring smiles and love to everyone. Individuals who are less mobile will have visits in their rooms.
Lizzie is fortunate to be able to accompany Heidi to her job in Human Resources, so residents and staff
can experience her on an informal basis often as they walk through. Employees often come visit in her office when they just need to regroup and
decompress. Lizzie helps to relieve stress and there is an overall calmness when she is around.
Blue Heron Pet Assisted Therapy
with Isabel (dog), BigBob (cat) and Dr. Kate Hibbard
Vermont Veterans' Home, Bennington, VT (BigBob)
Individuals in their homes (Isabel)
Isabel regularly received text messages from an elderly man she visited once a week in his home where
he received palliative care. The goals of Isabel's and Kate's in-home visits were to provide comfort and companionship in the last months
of his life and to help him in times of loneliness with canine companionship, as he really missed his dog. Another individual, whom Isabel visits
weekly, has a main goal to improve her overall measure of health. Depending upon her state of health on any given visit they walk 1 to 3 blocks
while Kate and she have a conversation about pets, her art activities, and more. Using a double leash, the individual holds one leash while Kate
holds the other. Their goal is to increase the length of their walks to 1/4 mile.
BigBob is a Therapy Cat. He visits the Veterans' Home every other week. Kate works with a
Veteran's Home Social Worker to determine where his services are needed. Overall therapy goals may focus on building communication skills,
making choices, or increasing mobility skills. When Big Bob is there, residents make a visible connection with a living being (e.g. leaning in to
pet BigBob; brushing him; returning to pet BigBob again; and requesting for him to visit again). They make choices and decisions about how they
want to interact with Bob and where they want him to be. Kate feels, and at times is brought to tears, when residents with memory challenges
visibly relax and are quietly present in the moment as they connect with BigBob's furry presence.
Future plans include developing a diabetes support program for children who are newly diagnosed with
diabetes. BigBob has diabetes, and we look forward to sharing his remarkable journey.
Mr. Cleo with Dr. Noelle Harris, Assistant Dean and Director of Counseling,
Religious, and Spiritual Life
Luna with Robert Richards, Associate Director of Counseling Services
Bryant University Counseling Services, Smithfield, RI
Mr. Cleo joins Dr. Harris in the Counseling office at Bryant University every Wednesday from 8:30
to 4:30. Her goal is to provide supportive services to students who visit the office for counseling services. Luna joins Rob on Fridays
and provides stress programs and wilderness walks with students. The interactions, and sometimes just hanging out, are positive, engaging and
Loving Kneads with Mavis and Amber Ramey
Composure Self Care, LLC - Warren, RI
Amber Ramey (Licensed Massage Therapist) owns Composure Self Care which provides Integrative
Massage Therapy. Mavis, her Therapy Dog is included in sessions with the permission of the client and her service is complementary to
any massage therapy visit. Mavis's overall goal is to provide immediate comfort and distraction from pain upon entering the massage
therapy office. Clients are encouraged to sit down on the couch or floor to pet and enjoy cuddles from Mavis for up to ten minutes prior to
their massage. During this time, the therapist may discuss the client's intake form and ask questions about their treatment goals.
Mavis's presence often provides a natural invitation for the clients to share more than they would in an otherwise clinical setting, as
she creates a warm, trusting environment for them to relax before they lie on the table.
Clients look forward to Mavis being in the office. When the schedule does not permit her to
join Amber at the office, the clients will, more often than not, ask where Mavis is the moment they enter the lobby. Amber has often heard,
"She is more loving and attentive than my dog," or "She is a joy to be around." Mavis makes most clients smile and
brightens their day, and that is what we hope to accomplish as a team as a complement to massage therapy.
Amber and Mavis are taking time off for maternity leave in 2023/2024 and look forward to
continuing their work soon.
Who Rescued Who K9 Assisted Therapy
with Callie and Mary McNulty
West Bay RI and Perspectives Corporation
The goal of monthly visits by Callie and Mary is to bring joyful distractions, happiness ,
love, and smiles to adults with physical and mental disabilities. Callie, a mix of German Shepherd, St. Bernard, and Siberian
Husky was a rescue from Tennessee. She loves her work as a Therapy Dog. They visit group homes and a mental health center. Residents
follow Callie on her days off through a Facebook page and Callie's instagram account, Calliegsmcnulty.
Growing with Grace with KarRa and Ann Olean
"Growing with Grace" is Professional Pet Assisted Therapy Program designed for
adults with developmental disabilities and cognitive and physical impairments. KarRa and Ann visit Access Point weekly where 8-11
adult individuals participate in the program. The focus of the program is to facilitate the development of cognitive skills,
communication skills, social skills and choice making skills through the involvement of KarRa. Each participant also has the
opportunity to develop a personal therapeutic relationship with KarRa through consistent weekly contact.
Participants interact individually with KarRa before and after the group
activity. Strategies are individualized based on their diagnostic profile, learning style and abilities. Primary teaching
strategies include direct teaching, modeling, reshaping, visual supports and verbal praise. Each group activity begins with KarRa
demonstrating the process for the members (i.e., bowling ) or being an active "retriever" for an activity (i.e., basketball,
cornhole, Astroshot) that encourages turn-taking, waiting, teamwork and social skills.