Barbara Lucas has been making weekly visits with her canine companions to our Pathways Girls residential treatment program for several years through the F.E.T.C.H. Organization.
F.E.T.C.H, or Friends Eager To Come Help, is a volunteer therapy dog group serving the Eugene/Springfield area. All F.E.T.C.H team members (dog and handler) are certified through the national Alliance of Therapy Dogs.
Pathways Girls provides supervised group living to female youth ages 12-18. While in our care, girls struggling with issues related to mental health and/or substance abuse receive individualized case management, planning, and treatment.
The 30-minute (weekly) visits in the main living area with Barb and Tina, a 5-year-old Labrador Retriever, are a wonderful comfort to girls in the program. Tina tends to plop down at the foot of a client and offer herself up for plenty of pets and belly scratches. While some girls choose to enjoy her company and calming presence from the distance of their chair or couch, other girls prefer to get more hands on and usually at least one client ends up on the floor with Tina.
Barb also brings Tina's sister Maui for visits at Pathways Girls. Before Tina and Maui, she brought Lucky. When asked about what stands out about visiting Pathways Girls compared to other places the team volunteers, including Jasper Mountain, the SAFE Center, various local hospitals, and the U of O dorms during finals week, Barb commented that the adolescent age group is what seems to set Pathways Girls apart. She sees younger children or young adults at other locations she visits, and she enjoys getting to interact with adolescents and young teens at Pathways Girls.
It's worth mentioning that the staff also love when Barb visits! Some staff, like Bailey Fischer, a Social Services Assistant at PGP, have been around long enough to remember the days when Barb brought Lucky, and look back at those memories fondly.
Looking Glass thanks Barbara, Tina and all the F.E.T.C.H therapy teams who visit our Pathways Girls program and spread the puppy love!