The Power of a Pet for Healing
It’s a proven scientific fact: pets really do help heal and calm. They are sensitive to human moods and emotions, and have a therapeutic effect on those in need of comforting. How wonderful is that> No wonder why we love them so much.
From the times of the ancient Greeks, dogs have been used in various forms of therapy. These "therapy dogs" visit nursing homes, retirement homes, assisted living facilities, senior centers, children’s homes, day care centers, schools, hospitals, hospices, and churches. They cheer up patients, and act as the ultimate counselors, with their genuine honesty and true companionship.
The power of a pet
Sick patients will often remember an animal’s name. Health care facility staff members have reported that it is easier to talk to residents during and after animal visits. The presence of therapy dogs helps with laughter and comfort, and may help to decrease feelings of loneliness and isolation. The touch of an animal is safe, non-threatening, and pleasant, which, in a therapy setting, is vitally important.
Here's a wonderful story:
A Golden Retriever named Chad went every day with his owner to visit a hospice. He seemed to know the difference between patients who needed a little laughter and those who were very ill and required a comforting presence. One terminally ill woman requested he sit by her side, and he lay quietly there for three hours, until she passed away.
Our pets are so much more than just family members. They're happiness.