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Cape Gazette
Lewes, Delaware
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September 25, 1998     Cape Gazette
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September 25, 1998
 

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CAPE GAZETYE, Friday, September 25 - HEALTH & FrrNESS October 1, 1998 - 35 Kerry Kester photos Anne Baggaley, left, of Lewes, regularly drives Lily, her sheep dog, to Gull House, where Lily visits with those at the adult day-care center. Shown is Lily greeting her friend, John Cavanna, while (l-r) Emma Truitt and Agnes Stevenson look on. Below, Baggaley sits with Lily, while in front of the pair Scooter rests. Baggaley said Scooter, now retired from her career as a pet therapist, "is a couch potato now - definitely." Pet therapists guard against loneliness, assist with rehab By Kerry Kester Pets are on patrol in the Cape Region, and they're helping to guard against loneliness. Al- though Lily Baggaley is only 5 years old, some of her best and fa- vorite friends are retired, senior citizens. She regularly visits with them and lathers them with kisses. Kissing is one of the things that pet therapy dogs do best. Lily, a sheep dog, shares her home with Anne Baggaley, a hu- man, of Lewes. The two are members of Lower Delaware Therapy Dogs, a nonprofit organi- zation that provides visitations to nursing homes, rehabilitation cen- ters and hospitals in Kent and Sus- sex counties. "Most of what we do is cheer people up," said Baggaley. "For example, in the nursing homes, there are people who don't get any visitors." Baggaley recalled one woman who had outlived all of the members in her family. 'She really looked forward to our vis- its. We became really close to her - kind of a substitute family." Although much of the therapy the dogs provide involves no more than cheer, the dogs who partic- ipatq in the program are highly trained. Lily, for example, is not only a breed champion who still competes in obedience competi- tions, she is registered in Therapy Dogs International, which in- eludes certification as a canine good citizen. "All of our dogs are screened for their temperament and have health screenings," said Baggaley. "They have to be well behaved." As part of the final test, in fact, the dogs must meet people who are Sitting in wheelchairs or walking with canes. They must walk through a crowd of children and meet others who have dogs. They are tested to see how they react when some.one suddenly runs near them; is rough housing; makes a startling, loud noise; or when a child rides past on a bicy- cle. As if all of that isn't enough to challenge any dog's obedience, the final test includes the dog be- ing left alone, without the owner in sight, and must sit quietly until the owner returns. When the dogs begin their ca- reers, they are ready to meet the many people whose lives they will touch with joy. "It's not formal therapy," said Baggaley. "It's just something we bring into their lives to cheer people. We just try to interact with them." The Baggaleys regularly go to Harbor Healthcare & Rehabilita- tion Center, Gull House, Lewes Convalescent Center and Bay- health-Milford Memorial Hospi- tal's rehabilitation center. "A lot of the people in our group do this because they want to share the love of their pets with people in nursing homes who don't have them," she said. However, said Baggaley, there are times when the dogs assist in physical therapy. "We visit the rehabilitation center, where there are people recovering from strokes, for example. In one case, there was a young man who was involved in a bad motorcycle acci- dent," she said. Part of exercising the muscles to regain strength in the arm could include brushing Lily. "I think it's very inspirational when we go to the rehabilitation center, and we get people who have had such things as strokes, and We work with a therapist to help them get reuse of a limb. Maybe that makes their rehabilita- tion a little easier for them. It's very inspirational." Lower Delaware Therapy Dogs, whose motto is "Pet Patrol: On Guard Against Loneliness," is composed of all volunteers. In ad- dition to offering health screen- ings for dogs, the organization al- so has several other regular activi- ties. For example, for the past sever- al years, the organization has re- ceived grants from the Delaware Veterinary Medical Association. It uses funds from the grants to provide food for animals who live with elderly people who may not be able to afford good pet food. The pets and their owners also assist veterinarians, who during National Pet Week, give presenta- tions and read pet stories to youngsters. How's your gym etiquette? Learn the dos and don'ts Society determines numerous acts of protocol that effect our everyday lives. We consciously or unconsciously adhere to proper etiquette when it comes to eating in a restaurant, attending a con- cert, driving on a highway, view- ing a movie, worshipping in church; the list is endless. Believe it or not, proper proto- col also plays a significant role in a daily workout while attending the gym of your choice. There are a number of dos and don'ts when working out. The following is a list of 10 rules that every fitness enthusiast should consider: Dress appropriately. It nev- er ceases to amaze me at the vari- ous workout outfits that appear in the weight rooms. Most impor- tant is to dress comfortably. You should wear shorts, tights, T- shirts, sweats and tank tops. Make sure athletic shoes are a part of your outfit. Flip-flops are dangerous and become a real safe- ty hazard. This goes equally for bare feet. Always wear a shirt; there is no place in the weight room for a person who is shirtless. No one really wants to share the sweat' with him. Bring a towel. Many gyms do not provide towels, and that's OK, so bring one with you. When you finish using a particular piece of equipment, make sure you wipe down the bench and appara- tus. Remember, no one should have to share the sweat. Replace your weights. When you use various pieces of equip- ment and lift dumbbells as well as barbells; remember to return the weights to the racks when fin- ished. Nothing is more frustrating to someone attempting to train than having to unload someone else's weights. It's just not fair. You wouldn't leave weights on the bars, and you expect the same from others. Use one piece of equipment at a time. Every gym always seems to have at least one person who thinks it necessary to tie up three or four pieces of equipment at the same time. This individual will probably tell you he is doing supersets and giant sets, and needs all the equip- ment to complete his workout. If the gym is empty, then it can be tolerated, but if others are waiting to Use the equipment, then it can't be tolerated. It's just not fair to the others who are trying to work out. Share the equipment with others. There will be many times when the gym will be crowded, and using certain pieces of equip- ment becomes a real challenge. First, if you need to use a cer- tain machine or bench and some- one is using it, you can either wait or ask if you can work on a set with that person. If you are on the machine or the bench and see someone waiting, you can also be polite and ask if they would like to work out with you. One good deed deserves an- other. Don't use too much weight. This is probably one of the HEALTH TOPICS Dave Kergaard, certified by the International Sports Sci- ence Association, is a person- al fitness trainer. For more information, call 227-8095. biggest mistakes I see people make in the gym. I constantly see people trying to use too much weight in their exercises. Either they think they should lift the same amount as their workout partner or they hope to impress others in the gym. Know when to talk. Don't get the wrong idea about this state- ment. It's certainly all right to talk in the gym when working out or exercising. However, there are times when silence is golden. One of these times is when someone is completing a set while lifting weights. Talking to that in- dividual is taboo. He is probably concentrating on the weight and exercise, and will be happy to talk or answer your questions between sets. Don't hog the cardio. Most gyms have an area designated for cardio equipment such as tread- mills, stairmaster and lifecycles. Fitness enthusiasts usually always occupy these items in an effort to get a good cardio workout. With this in mind, a 30-minute time limit should be imposed on each piece of equipment. It's ex- tremely difficult for the gym staff to keep a constant eye on this, so use your common sense and re- Continued on page 38