Currently, we are visiting Health South Rehabilitation Hospital of Fredericksburg, located at 300 Park Hill Drive, Fredericksburg, VA 22401. We currently are visiting on Sundays from 1-3 PM. If you are interested in joining us for any of these visits, please contact us for an orientation.
Blue Gray Therapy Dogs has had many teams in nursing homes bringing smiles to residents and staff. In 1998 Blue Gray Therapy Dogs approached Mary Washington Hospital with the idea of bringing the Therapy Dogs into the Hospital and two years later in October 2000, the first Hospital Therapy Dog Teams started to visit. Blue Gray Therapy Dogs has several teams visiting both MWH and Stafford Hospitals.
Paws for Reading
Our Paws for Reading Programs are part of the curriculum at our local libraries, elementary and middle schools. Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have confirmed that children who read to a Therapy Dog really do perform better. Students who read out loud to a therapy dog improved their reading and comprehensive skills by 12% over those who did not during their 10 week study.
A child can schedule a 15 minute reading session with one of our Paws for Reading teams at any of the Rappahannock libraries. Additionally, more than a dozen of the Spotsylvania County schools include our Paws for Reading Program as part of their reading enrichment program. We also provide "Paws" team volunteers to other institutions throughout our service area."
In Oct 2003, the Paws for Reading program was launched at the Salem Church branch of the Central Rappahannock Regional Library (CRRL) by members of the former Spiritkeepers Chapter #114 of Therapy Dogs International. Participating children select books and read aloud to the therapy dogs. This fun, positive environment and nonjudgmental approach has proven not only effective in improving reading skills, but also demonstrates the positive impact dogs can have on children's lives and promotes the human-animal bond. Upon completion of their reading session, each participating child receives an exclusive bookmark displaying their canine reading partner's color photo to collect and share with friends and family members.
Today, in addition to Salem Church, Paws for Reading programs are active at Snow, Porter, Caroline Street (Headquarters) and CRRL branches in Westmoreland County. Programs are currently being initiated in King George County at the Smooth Memorial Library and at the General Library at Dahlgren.
Snowden of Fredericksburg is a behavioral health center located on the Medicorp campus across from Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg. Visits to Snowden currently involve interacting with the patients in a group environment and are split between adults and children. Teams currently active in Blue Gray Therapy Dogs are welcome to participate, but must go through an orientation before visiting.