We asked the questions our readers have been emailing. Myles of Smiles is a non-for-profit organization whose mission is to promote the use of therapy dogs within the mental/behavioral health community.
N: When you and Myles are working with kids, does he seem to bond with any certain types of children, for instance children with a mental health issue or children with behavioral disorders etc.?
K: Great questions. I think all the kids need him just because he is such a positive presence. I always feel like I am delivering flowers. Everyone is happy when the flower delivery person shows up. Myles and I are greeted with smiles, cheers, “thank God you are here”, and lots of hugs. The other day someone said it was our ministry. I was surprised by this but I guess it is although no one has put me and the word ministry in the same sentence before.
Yes. These are the kids and adults he bonds with the most. He is very in tune with whatever is going on with their moods. He was well trained with moodiness (he is my dog after all :)) Seriously though, he gravitates towards all kids but if one of them is upset in some way he spends more time with them. He is great with kids that are really shy about reading too.
N: Do the children themselves seem to respond differently toward Myles depending on their health issues? Are there children with specific mental health disorders or behavioral disorders who seem to “need” the therapy with Myles more so than other children? If so, how do they show this to you? Does Myles pick up on this need?