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A Therapy Dog and Human Healing

Elvis Elvis

Imagine if you will…

being confined to a hospital room, a long-term care facility, or a nursing home. One day slowly fades into the next as the designed sterility of the environment removes all hope, joy, and anticipation from your life.

Your reason for being there could be one of many. A disease requiring long-term hospital treatment, convalescent recovery, or just old age. The routines are simple and become “routinely boring.” If only for a ray of hope, if only for a ray of joy.

Imagine lying in your hospital bed, or sitting in a chair in your nursing home; starkness everywhere when out of the blue… a four legged creature wanders into your room. Yes, this gentle golden retriever, yellow lab, German shepherd, or black terrier, wanders into your room walks over to you and gently puts their head on the side of your bed or on your lap.

Total disbelief!

A Therapy Dog and Human Healing

But wait…this is a sterile, stark, bleached white medical environment. How could a dog be here?…in your room?…with their head actually touching you!

It has been long known that dogs have a therapeutic effect of individuals. They help to lower blood pressure, relieve stress, and produce significant therapeutic effects on heart patients. Think again about being alone for days on end and out of nowhere comes a warm smiling face that is eager and desirous of sharing their love with you.

As you run your fingers through their warm soft coat, your cares just seem to melt away. As your canine friend looks soulfully into your eyes, you well up with positive feelings of love, warmth, and emotion. If only for a little while, you are the recipient of the unconditional love that this four legged individual has to share.

The final vote may be out on the documented effects of dogs on the health and recovery of humans…but just look at anyone who is in contact with a therapy dog and you will see all the “positive healing” that is going on.

As the four legged pal leaves…

the recipient of his visit pleasantly replays it in their mind…patiently waiting and longing for the next time that canine visitor will turn the corner and again out of nowhere bring warmth and joy to their lives.

Interested in having your dog become a therapy dog?

In order to become a therapy dog, there are certain criteria a dog must meet in order to be certified. The qualifications and criteria differ depending on the type of individuals your dog and you will visit. The temperament of a dog visiting elderly patients in a nursing home is very different from dogs visiting individuals in a juvenile facility.

Listed below are some sites, which give more information about what therapy dogs do, and how your dog and you can become involved in a program. The joy that the “patient receives” will be rivaled by the joy you receive from observing this therapy first hand. And together you will understand why dogs truly are mans’ “best friend.”