Therapy dogs wagging to get back in clinic

Therapy dogs wagging to get back in clinic

SUNSHINE Coast Psychology Clinic's therapy dogs Bessie and Nellie have been moping about home for the past six weeks as the pandemic has them missing their clients.

For years the Groodles have been requested by clients during their sessions at the Maroochydore-based clinic.

Psychologist and dog mum Lisa Lindley has noticed a lot less tail wagging since the dogs have been homebound.

"I'm still going into work to provide telehealth sessions and they've been running to the car in the mornings with their tails wagging, still hoping to come with me," Ms Lindley said.

"The clients have been missing them just as much.

"We've been getting a lot of messages that children, particularly those who have Asperger's and Autism, have been missing that routine and familiarity the dogs bring."

Clients don't have to wait much longer to get their fix of cuddles as the clinic aims to open again on May 11.

Bessie, Nellie and some of the clinic's psychologists will return to the office while some remain at home providing support via telehealth.

Clients Madison, 13, and Tayla, 9, said while they have enjoyed the telehealth sessions, nothing compared to sitting on the couch with their furry friends.

"Bessie and Nellie make me feel happy and I want to go to the clinic more because of them," Ms Richards said.

"I miss them so much."

Ms Lindley said the pandemic had created more stresses for many Coast residents who may be in need of mental health support.

She hopes more men will feel comfortable with talking about mental health after new male colleague Omar Mercuri joined the team.

This article was written by Felicity Ripper originally published in the Sunshine Coast Daily