Therapy dogs greet travelers at airport

Therapy dogs used to help stressed travelers
Published: Nov. 20, 2016 at 10:04 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 21, 2016 at 2:19 PM CST
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(Source: West Tennessee Therapy Dogs)
(Source: West Tennessee Therapy Dogs)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Traveling can be doggone stressful, especially during the busy Thanksgiving season.

Traveling who came through Memphis International Airport on Monday got to de-stress with West Tennessee Therapy Dogs.

"The purpose of them is to calm everybody down, to socialize," dog owner Richard Herbert said. "[Keep]everyone in a happy nature. Take their mind off their flying."

West Tennessee Therapy Dogs is celebrating its third anniversary with the event. A team of dogs was on hand to interact with passengers in the B ticketing lobby.

Eight dogs have worked this event over the last three years, but if you think every dog can do it, you're definitely barking up the wrong tree.

"They have to have the aptitude, attitude. They have to have a calming nature," Herbert said.

Even with the right attitude, before they can head to the airport gates to ease passengers nerves, they have to go through about four to five months of therapy school.

But when they're trained, the dogs are able to put smiles on everyone's face.

"I think, especially around the holidays, people will have some sadness, loneliness, and I think animals definitely decrease these emotions," traveler Deanna Brown said.

West Tennessee Therapy Dogs have been volunteering at the airport since 2013.

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