b'With his patients, Mr. Galarraga likes to work onAlicia Harantschuk, therapy dog trainerthree-dimensional art projects such as creating masks and making books. He said he also likes painting with people. Dogs have a knack for making people feel Painting can allow people to release differentcomfortable and even emotions, he said. The fluid material or medi- joyful. They can help um of paint can be a representation of crying. people forget about Whenever possible, he gets his patients to movetheir troubles.around while doing art projects. For instance,Dogs love us un-he shows patients how to use charcoal sticks toconditionally, said draw on a really large page. The name for thisAlicia Harantschuk, a art form, he explained, is cane scribbles. certified professional It mimics the type of behavior when youre outtrainer specializing in therapy dogs. We dont on the playground, he said. It allows your brainhave to worry about what we say around them.to think more freely.Mrs. Harantschuk trains dogs so they can visit When a person starts feeling more comfortablepeople who are dealing with physical or emo-expressing their feelings through art, images, ortional problems and need love and support. even words, Mr. Galarraga said he knows theyWhen trained therapy dogs visit hospitals, nurs-are starting to heal. ing homes, and schools, they can give patients a mental break and help them feel better. When With art, he said, they are using a different lan- we feel happy, some things are easier to accept, guage to talk about their feelings. Or they cansuch as taking medicine, she said. We are in a handle a surge of different emotions they didntbetter state of mind. know how to cope with before. Dogs can visit people in hospitals, homes, and schools. Their interactions with people can be By Fit Flyer staffWilliam Cramp Elementary School quite simple but powerful, Mrs. Harantschuk said. A patient can read a book aloud to a ther-apy dog or can practice using their hands by brushing a dog. A dog can be a good listener for someone who needs to express feelings, Mrs. Harantschuk said.33'