This is Henry. Although he’s not mine he is available for loan and I can’t help but think I’m getting a much better deal than he is. I guess I’d never really thought of it as dog therapy until I needed it and during that time, Henry would come wake me up each morning by pouncing on the bed and, come evening would rest his head in my lap. How on earth he knew how to do that at that time beats me but what I do know is that it made an incredible difference.
You see although we don’t speak the same language (however cuddle-time and walkies is pretty much all you need, right?) dog therapy has been used for mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety; palliative care, nursing home visits and school reading programs, and even workplaces to deliver us of much needed stress-relief.
There’s an emotional connection, a bond, based on love and compassion that might be hard to explain, but ask any dog owner and they’ll have many stories to tell of the ‘intuitive’ powers of their furry friend who doesn’t judge, but connects us to positive memories, love and gratitude that has the ability to get us through the most difficult of times.
Henry Handsome passed away December 2019. He is missed by all.