Acts of Altruism

A new feature on The Muses’ Emporium will take place every Friday. Starting today, Friday blogs will center around things we can do for others. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the simple definition of the word “altruism” is: feelings and behavior that show a desire to help other people and a lack of selfishness.

I love my life and enjoy living on my little six-acre farm with my dear husband and our four dogs. I love our children and grandchildren and love finding ways to surprise and delight them whenever I can. But the one thing I feel my life is lacking is reaching out beyond my family and friends and making a difference in the community and world around me.

So, each Friday I am going to feature ideas, programs, and activities that will hopefully act as a reminder to myself, and perhaps some of you, to share skills, talents, and time with those in need.

My first idea comes by way of a friend of mine who recently lost her precious and cherished dog. They joined together to share love and comfort to patients, the elderly, children, and people in crisis or anxiety-filled situations. Her pet was a service dog who touched so many lives during her time here.


Therapy dogs can be any breed, any age, any size, shape or color, and training can be administered by the owner, a professional trainer, or a training organization. Getting your dog ready to serve or assist can take from six months to a year, and 30 hours of the training must take place in a “controlled public setting”so that the dog can become adjusted to people and can learn to be obedient and unobtrusive.

Service dogs are trained to help those who are:

  • disabled
  • visually impaired
  • hearing impaired
  • mentally ill
  • suffer from a seizure disorder
  • mobility impaired
  • diabetic


To learn more, visit Assistance Dogs International. If you have a therapy dog or join with your dog to provide service to those in nursing homes or schools, please share your knowledge and activities with us. Here’s to more service animals in this world!