Here at Our Family Fun Night we like to highlight stories that are making a real difference to people. Scott Craven’s recent article in The Arizona Republic told the story of Tucker, a golden retriever who is no ordinary dog. Tucker is a healing dog, who visits the Crisis Nursery in central Phoenix with his owner, Leslie Hosford every Wednesday to help at-risk, underprivileged, neglected, and abused children learn vital social and emotional skills by offering the children a chance to interact with Tucker.
Tucker and Leslie are part of the Gabriel’s Angels, a Phoenix based social services program that offer therapy sessions to children all over Phoenix – the only pet therapy program in the state of Arizona. The wonderful work Tucker and his owner do for the underprivileged children of central Phoenix can’t be praised enough, we think Tucker is doing a fantastic job.
If there were more dogs like Tucker and more programs like Gabriel’s Angels available nationwide then many more at-risk children could really benefit and get a better start in life. Many people don’t realize that crucial social and emotional skills can be improved through pet therapy, and when it comes at-risk, underprivileged children these skills can be even more difficult to learn on account of the neglect and abuse they have suffered.