The Maison du Père homeless shelter in Montreal started using a therapy dog six months ago as part of a pilot project.
After some of the homeless men at the shelter responded well to animal therapy, the shelter decided to bring Argon in to work with clients on a regular basis.
The dog is now considered a friend, even the only friend, to some of the residents.
“It’s like a visitor, comes to see his grandpa,” chuckled shelter resident George Nadeau.
Argon was specially trained by a seeing eye-dog foundation, and he is always accompanied by a trainer. Most days, he is at the shelter from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The therapy dog does morning and afternoon rounds, bringing love and affection to men who otherwise have nothing.
“He brings the tension down, and that’s what we look for,” said Francois Boissy, spokesperson for Maison du Père.
Argon has proven especially helpful for sick men who are reluctant to see a doctor.
“When there is a health issue, Argon makes an immense difference,” added Boissy.
“It calms them down.”
Argon fills a deep empty void for the residents, providing affection they otherwise may never get.