Finley is an 18-month-old Goldendoodle from Pennsylvania doing her part to give back to those in need. Her story started April 2017 when she arrived in a van full of raspberries to her perfect human. Finley’s mom quickly realized her very high instinctive sense around how she was feeling, and along with her calming demeanor, Fin could be the perfect pup to help those in need. Six months later, Fin began her journey to become a therapy dog. Today, this sweet girl has received her Canine Good Citizen Award, and is registered with Therapy Dogs International.
Finley spends her day working with adults and children with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and related disorders. OCD creates distressing thoughts and urges that lead to repetitive behaviors, creating extreme anxiety and fear in a patient’s daily life. These rituals cause significant interference in patients overall well being and in severe cases can debilitate an individual to where they are unable to leave their home.
OCD is treated utilizing Behavioral Therapy with Exposure & Response Prevention. This means patients will be exposed to the thoughts and situations on a graduated level that make them anxious and, or start their obsessions. As one can imagine, this is very stressful and scary for a patient to overcome. Finley supports patients through this hardship and is a source of comfort when they walk into the room. Patients use Fin as a behavioral strategy to focus on instead of ritualizing. Because of her intuitive nature, Finley can sense a patient’s distress and offer assistance when needed. Fin’s human said, “Over the past 16 months Finley has proven that she is not only a loyal companion to me, but to all she meets as she provides patients with the extra nudge to meet goals that once felt unattainable. This allows them to learn they can begin to be free from rituals.”
Fin and her human represent Coast’s mantra, “free to be” so well. Their work is helping others break down barriers, allowing them freedom to be themselves. Their Coast leash is comfortable to use during the many miles they walk with their patients. Her human said “the versatility in the leash allows her to be tied up outside while I’m working with a client inside a building that doesn’t permit pets.” We are lucky to share Finley and her human’s story of how through their work, they are providing freedom to those in need! #freetobe
For more information on OCD: https://iocdf.org/about-ocd/