Founder of therapy dogs in the US died

In Memory of Elaine Smith
May 13, 1930 - April 2, 2012

Elaine Smith, the Founder of Therapy Dogs International (1976) passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by her three dogs. Since our first visit to a nursing home in New Jersey in 1976, millions of people around the World are benefiting from Therapy Dog visitations because of Elaine Smith's idea. She had the persistency to realize her vision that dogs should be allowed to visit with the patients in hospitals, nursing homes and other institutions to bring comfort and companionship and increasing emotional well-being, promoting healing and improving the quality of life for the people being visited and the staff that cares for these people.

Elaine Smith, Founder of TDI with the first Therapy Dog, a German Shepherd named Phila

~~Memorial from the TDI facebook page.~~

It's hard to imagine that the concept of using dogs to visit and cheer people has only been around such a short time here. Thankfully for the many people we visit as therapy dog team volunteers, they are able to enjoy and be visited by therapy dogs in most every part of the US.

This is proof that someone with a dream and some hard work can make amazing things happen! :bow: :bow:
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What a great legacy Elain has. She opened a door that would have remained locked if not for her insight and love of these wonderful creatures.

God Speed, Elain...thank you for stopping here and making such a difference in this world.
Thank you for sharing this with us. I didn't know the story, or about Elaine.
Imagine leaving such a wonderful legacy. That is a life well lived.
Thanks for sharing- I did not know her story-I am inspired to learn more about her journey.

She made a difference!
What a great lady
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