The Importance of Wellness Care

As I entered the room, Rusty greeted me with a whimper and a sad, uncomfortable look on his face. “Okay, what did you eat this time?” I asked him. Rusty had been through 3 previous intestinal surgeries; we’ve removed diapers, socks and a rubber ball, what could be next? An x-ray revealed a large pocket watch. Fortunately, it was in his colon and an enema was all that Rusty needed. Brad his owner was happy it was still ticking, and he smiled and gave Rusty a big hug, taking him home and likely indulging him with McDonalds on the way.

We love our dogs no matter what. The human animal bond is so important to so many people. I see and appreciate the devotion every day.
“She offered me what I had never found in my life with humans: constant, single-hearted, incorruptible, uncritical devotion, which it is in the nature of dogs to offer.” – My Dog Tulip

Pets have the uncanny ability to open the human heart. They are comfortable with their world, they live spontaneously in the moment, they wag their tails with happiness and contentment, enjoying themselves. Their love is unconditional, and does not involve good looks, money or wit.

And don’t forget cats:
Cats are our great teachers. They train us to give them milk on demand. They sleep on top of our heads at will, they punish us when we don’t keep their litter clean, demand a tubby rub as needed. They will act aloof just long enough to get your attention.

The benefits of the human animal bond has been well documented. A number of studies have shown that living with an animal or even just having interactions with one has benefits including improvement in mental, social, and physical health.
Studies have shown the stronger an owner’s bond with their dog, the more often and the farther they will walk together. This devotion to their partners gets them physical exercise, makes them more energetic, decreases body fat, makes them more flexible and thus decreases the visits to the doctor.

Studies have shown longer survival rates after heart attacks for those that live with dogs. Fibromyalgia patients working with therapy dogs have decreased pain levels and note significant improvements in mood. Therapy dogs have been shown to decrease blood pressure in times of mental stress. People who live with pets also have a reduced risk for various types of lymphoma.

Therapy dogs can greatly improve the recovery and mood of children. They motivate them to work at their physical therapy with more energy and develop skills needed for recovery. From Amy Ayres book, ‘The Amazing Way Dogs are Helping Kids with Physical Therapy’ I quote:
“She’s very quiet, so she works with Hobbes (the therapy dog), who’s a very high-energy dog,” Ingersoll says. “They’re a good match because he kind of peps her up”

“Johnathan is like a whole different person when Atlas (the therapy dog) is there. He’s very focused, and he’s just very motivated to do things that he normally isn’t motivated to do,” says his mother. “Atlas changes his whole outlook on therapy.”

It’s been shown that dogs can influence children with autism to perform tasks and increase positive social behavior. They’ve also been shown to help shy kids feel more comfortable with their social interactions. Therapy dogs can help kids focus on tasks. They help pediatric cancer patients become more motivated to participate in their treatment. Those kids were also more likely to stay optimistic and want to “get better.” The benefits of having pets are numerous and far reaching.

We often hear stories of how animals help us, such as the dog who lied on top of his owner that was stranded in freezing weather until help arrived, or the cat that helps owners fight back depression and pain.

Everyone thinks that their dog, cat or rat is the best, and they’re not wrong. I’m sure that anyone reading this is not surprised by the impact of the human animal bond. They touch our hearts in unconditional ways that exceed our expectations. They give us constant, uncritical single hearted devotion, and they allow us to return the favor in kind with a roll on the back and a tummy rub.

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