The power of pet therapy is astounding. The love and joy provided by the professional comforters is enough to effect the most positive change. The purpose of pet therapy is to help patients recover from or cope with a health or mental problem. For one young girl, her dog has been a lifesaver.
Neeva Goff, 4, and her dog Baxter are an inseparable pair. Neeva was born deaf but has learned a special way to communicate with her dog—using sign language. Neeva’s mom, Chelsea Goff, told local news that “they have their own secret language. He is just always with her. If she’s asleep in bed, we can guarantee that he is in her room with her,” said Chelsea.
Neeva can tell Baxter to sit, stay, come, and “let’s go tuck you into bed” all by using sign language and by holding a treat. Neeva goes to the New Mexico School for the Deaf in Santa Fe, and she communicates using sign language. When they learned Neeva was born deaf, the Goff family decided to look for a dog, but one that came with patience and kindness.
Mom says that Baxter is loving and listens to Neeva most of the time. In order to get Baxter’s attention before giving him a command, Neeva will tap him on the shoulder. Neeva even gave Baxter his own sign language name that she signs by waving her hand against her cheek.
We are sure that the bond between Neeva and Baxter will last a lifetime. Do you have any stories on how pet therapy has helped someone? Let us know!
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