Our Canine Office Companions, Therapy Dogs | Rice Psychology Group
All initial intake and therapy sessions are continuing to be provided virtually via our secure Zoom portal. Gifted evaluations are being offered both via telehealth and in-person. More extensive evaluations are primarily being performed online with select portions administered in person as deemed appropriate, necessary and safe. You can schedule a 10-minute consult with one of our licensed psychologists by contacting us here or using our contact form.

Our Canine Office Companions: Get to Know Milo, Abbey and Gigi!

Meet the therapy dogs of Rice Psychology Group! These amazing friends come to work with Dr. Rice, Dr. Schwait and Dr. DeGeso-Jones and contribute so much to the practice. Each with their own personality, they participate in therapy when needed and otherwise do an amazing job of brightening our days with their presence in the office. With child and adolescent clients, our therapy dogs can help ease pain and fear, help with self-control and following directions, get involved in aspects of play therapy and, most importantly, offer acceptance and unconditional love. And, not surprisingly, they are equally helpful with adults as well!

Love your pets like we do ours for February 20th's National Love Your Pet Day! Click To Tweet

February 20th is “National Love Your Pet Day”, and while these animals are our pets, they help us with our work and are also so much more to our patients. We wanted to take a few minutes this week to introduce you to our canine companions, but instead of hearing from their owners, we thought we would let them introduce themselves!

Rice Psychology Group employs different methods of treatment, and our dogs are the favorite of many of our clients! Get to know them and our team by scheduling a consultation today!

Meet Milo Rice

Therapy Dog Milo “I love when we pull up to the office because I instantly know that I’ll get to spend the day with Mom and who knows who else! I usually try to get her to take me around the building to, well you know, relieve myself first because once we’re inside, she gets kind of into whatever she does every day, meaning that I could be in there for a long time!

“The first thing I always do is greet Jemeise and anyone in the waiting room. I never know who I’ll encounter, but I’ve rarely met someone in there I didn’t like. When we settle into Mom’s office, I have a few favorite spots that I love – my bed, under the kid’s table or mom’s desk, under people’s feet, on people’s feet, on the couch or on Mom’s red Stress-less Chair – it sure is stress-less to me! I don’t have a care in the world when I’m relaxing on there.

“Sometimes people seem kind of upset when they talk to Mom, and I go over to see if they are okay. If I can get them to pet me and it feels good, I work hard to figure out how to get them to keep doing it. Sometimes I stare deeply into their eyes and make this happy noise deep in my throat, or I gently “tap” them with one of my front paws. It usually works!

“Other times, I’ll curl up on the couch next to them and put my head in their laps. Well, that’s if they’re sitting on my couch. One time it was storming out and I was so scared. I literally climbed into this nice lady’s lap. She thought it was funny and let me stay there the whole time ‘til the scary noises ended! I think I have the best life!”

Meet Abbey Schwait

Therapy dog Abbey My name is Abbey and I come to work at Rice Psychology with my mom, Dr. Amanda Schwait. I only weigh 10 pounds and I’m a Shih-Poo (a mix of a Shih Tzu and a poodle).

I LOVE working at Rice Psychology. When Mom tells me that we’re going to work, I get so excited and can’t wait to get in the car. Once I get to the office, it’s my job to greet everyone and make sure to say hello to the whole staff and all of our guests.

“During the day, honestly, I’m pretty lazy when Mom is talking to people. I mostly just lay in my chair eating my bone, but I take my job seriously and it’s hard work to be this cute.

“My favorite part of the day is when people let me snuggle on the couch next to them while they talk. Sometimes they even pet me and scratch me the whole time they’re in the room. Mostly, I just love people and it makes me happy to be with them while they talk. In my spare time, I love long walks, riding in the car and going to the beach.”

Meet Gigi DeGeso

Therapy Dog Gigi.

“Want to play and blow off some steam? How about a game of tug or ball? Need some extra attention? Smiles and laughs? Then I’m your girl! My name is Gigi and I’m Dr. DeGeso-Jones’ one-year old English bulldog. I love meeting new people of all ages and get so excited when I see my human friends every week.

“Because I’m so social, my teacher didn’t think I was doing my homework or practicing, but I showed everyone and passed my first AKC STAR test with a 100% score. Now, I only have one more class to go until I earn my AKC “Canine Good Citizen” certificate.

“Just because I like to talk and play doesn’t mean I’m a bad citizen. My mom told me I’m a natural. I’m outgoing, friendly and confident, but she says that I need to work on my manners a little more. That’s why I must take one more class. Oh well, I know I bring happiness and non-judgmental acceptance to my friends, and if it’s what I have to do to continue helping others, so be it. I’ll ace that test too. I love my job!”

An Environment of Love and Comfort

Therapy dogs help our clients feel more comfortable, provide emotional support and participate in play therapy sessions with children. Substantial research has clearly demonstrated the importance of the human-animal bond as well as the value of using properly trained animals for treating children and adults with a wide range of difficulties.

If you or your child are undergoing an overwhelming period in life and need someone to talk to in a supportive and non-judgmental environment, then we want to hear from you! Contact Rice Psychology Group in Tampa today for more information on our various services.

About Rice Psychology

Rice Psychology Group is home to a team of psychologists who work tirelessly to help adults, adolescents and children deal with their issues. Whether you’re currently dealing with depression, going through a divorce or fighting an issue you just can’t understand, know that our Tampa psychologists are here to help.

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