Vancouver International Airport helps travellers to manage stress with dog therapy program

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Vancouver International Airport is introducing a new pet therapy program. Jordan Armstrong has the details – Aug 22, 2017

Flying can sometimes wind up the most seasoned travellers.

In an effort to help people manage their stress, the Vancouver International Airport (YVR) introduced their Ambassador ‘pet therapy’ Dog Program on Tuesday.

There will be seven different Ambassador Dogs, which are from the St. John Ambulance’s Therapy Dog Program, around the terminal for all airport users to help deal with anxiety related to travelling, work and general stress.

Molly, Bailey, Mira, Norman, Grover, Kermode and Soda will be onsite Mondays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The pooches, who will be accompanied by their handlers and are trained to be pet and cuddled with, won’t be hard to spot since they’ll be wearing their St. John Ambulance bandannas and YVR-branded leashes.

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“We were in the international section and one of the women that came up to him and said ‘can I pat your dog?’ and she said ‘I’m terrified, I’m going on a long flight to Germany and I’m so afraid of flying’,” Norman’s handler, Lisa Ross said.

“So she took about 45 minutes and hung out with him and she said ‘oh I feel so different than when I started out here’. So I think that’s the whole point here… to make everybody comfortable.”

If the programs is successful, YVR said it would expand the program to seven days a week.

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