Anna Kuperberg is one of the country’s leading fine art photographers specializing in photographing weddings, children, and dogs. She has an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and some of her fine art work is in the permanent collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the St Louis Art Museum, and the Portland Art Museum. Her wedding photography has been published in People, InStyle, Martha Stewart, and Real Simple magazines. We were thrilled when she agreed to shoot for the One Day at Phoenix Children’s project and there was no argument about what she would photograph: the animal assisted therapy program. The program “employs” 45 therapy dogs and 70 wonderful volunteers. Add in adorable kids and Anna was in seventh heaven. The therapy dogs help kids heal faster in a number of ways.
First, it makes getting out of bed and walking around after surgery so much more fun if there is a dog by your side! Second, the animal assisted therapy workers break up the monotony of a hospital stay and give patients something to look forward to. Finally, because the dogs seem to be non-judgmental to the children they are perceived as comforting, which raises a child’s self-esteem and makes it easier for them to express themselves.
Maddy loves spending time with Lily Bear and Lily enjoys Maddy’s company too. Everyone including Maddy’s ever present mom feels better when Lily bear comes around. Lily visits dozens of patients as she makes her rounds helping them work toward their recovery goals. Sometimes when a patient really isn’t feeling well, the dogs will just hop up on their bed and snuggle up as if to say they understand and hope you feel better soon.