Animals and Therapy

We all have issues with different subjects. Some more than others, but one of my mental stumbling blocks is those that are cruel to animals!! I cannot abide those that think it is ok or doesn’t matter to mistreat an animal.

Granted, I would not want to meet either of these two cuties in a dark alley! , but I really can’t understand why anyone would want to kill them for fur or to have your picture taken with them! it doesn’t make them look cool, it makes them look like the scum of the earth.

Our domesticated friends are loyal, loving and protective of us. Dogs especially really are our best friends. You read stories of dogs who have lost owners and sat everyday for ages after the owner’s passing waiting for them to return home. They will defend their owner with their lives and are completely loyal. This is why dogs are used widely for therapy. Owning a dog if you have depression or anxiety based disorders can be very beneficial, in some cases, more so than medication. Animals do have a soul, they do feel emotions and they understand ours better than we do a lot of the time! Dogs in particular, hate seeing their owners in distress, crying or ill. They will do all they can to console us. They will form a bond with us that is unbreakable and they do have a heart, so don’t break it.

Because of the benefits, dogs are now trained as “therapy” dogs. They are trained how to behave in hospitals and care homes. Some breeds of dog can sniff out cancer before their human knows they have it. So if your dog pays particular attention to one part of your body in particular then it’s a good idea to get it checked out. They can sniff out illness like they are trained to sniff out drugs and cadavers. Loneliness is a huge problems for some people and this can also lead to mental and physical health issues, so therapy dogs, and now sometimes horses, are trained with the sole intention of taking them to hospitals and care homes to visit those who are on short time so to speak. Animals have the ability to calm and lift our spirits. So how do they do it? Well most of the time it’s the pure, undying, unconditional love they show us. They have an uncanny ability to connect with us on level that few humans ever experience with one another.

So if you are suffering from depression or anxiety, one therapy I would strongly recommend is getting a dog. There are breeds that don’t shed fur if you have allergies. They also encourage us to get outdoors and get exercise, which is one of the best ways to help depression. If you have trouble finding the point of getting out of bed in the morning, then a dog means you have to. You have to care for them and therefore you are more likely to care for yourself also. They need you as much as you need them.

There is only one downside and that is the broken heart we suffer when it’s time to say goodbye. The most we can hope to have with our new companion is around 16 years if you have them from a puppy. Owning dogs has taught me more about heartbreak and having to move on after a loss than any person could. One dog I owned in particular “Mac” saw me through so many bad and difficult times in my life. He brought me back from the brink so many times I lost count. Did he tire of it,,never. Dogs also have a lot of character, their own personalities. They do and should become a member of the family. If you can share your home and life with a dog then you will always make it through. One thing is for sure you will always owe them a debt of gratitude.

It’s also a fact that dogs and cats use their pineal gland as their sixth sense. They use it for what it was intended, to sense danger. A dog especially, can sum you up in the very first meeting with shocking accuracy. So if your dog doesn’t like someone pay attention as they are never wrong. They always know when we are on our way home before they can see us. I have had cats and dogs in the past that would be sitting in the window anything up to 10 minutes before I arrived at home. They can sense when we are close to coming home. It has to be some kind of telepathy or sixth sense as I have never come across a dog or cat that wears a watch and anyone that knows me well will know that it wouldn’t make any difference anyway as I don’t wear one !! I am always late and never come home at the same times everyday. They know if we are mentally ill or physically even when there are not obvious signs.

Feel free to post your stories of Dogs you have owned that have in some way saved you on the blog ….

It’s said that when a dog dies they go to a place called “Rainbow Bridge”. If dogs have a soul and I believe they do, then there must be an afterlife for them too. Or I would like to think so. The story goes that when a beloved pet, mainly dogs because of the bond we have with them, go to the Rainbow Bridge aka doggy heaven. We go through the light and a tunnel, and they cross the rainbow bridge into beautiful rolling green fields, where they run and play all day with others. If you have a very close bond with any of your fur babies in life then when we cross over, we meet our friends again at the Rainbow Bridge. When they cross that bridge they are young again and any pain they were in is gone. Any sickness is gone and all they have are happy memories with their owner.

So do we create a bond with our pets that extends into the afterlife or is it someone we have invented to soothe the broken heart we nurse when they have to go. I have had a couple of very painful losses with dogs where they I have had to let them go and they have passed away in my arms. The last one was the worst. Does it stop me wanting to have them in my life? not a chance! A Friend once said to me that she didn’t understand why some people became so attached to pets, because they should have that kind of relationship with humans not animals. I explained to her that it depends on your experience with humans not your ability to strike and keep a relationship with them. In my experience I have grieved more for pets I have lost than people. If you are going to take a pet/especially a dog into your life, it should be for the duration of their life. They should be treated as a member of your family.