I love animals. I love my dogs, cat and bird. I give them the best home. They in return give me everything!
It’s wonderful to see hospitals and assisted living facilities are allowing in therapy dogs. According to a blog by Dr. Beth Murphy, MD, at McLean Hospital a mental health facility, she staffs her hospital with four legged therapists named Beanie, Pooh, Rufus, Tuna and Smokey.
She notes that more research needs to be done on the long term effects on patients with dog therapy, but Dr. Murphy has seen positive short term effects, such as breakthroughs in treatment. These animal therapists are trained to help patients with virtually any mental health condition. By exposing these patients to a therapy animal, we evoke a lot of memories, a lot of positive feelings and a sense of security.
When patients are first admitted they are scared to enter the facility. But once greeted by Hunter, an 8 pound Pomeranian, the patient begins to feel more relaxed, happy and safe.
During group sessions, patients feel more secure to talk about their feelings and what the animal and their own animals mean to them. The patients moods shift dramatically reinforcing that they can feel happy again, and can feel connected with other people and beings in their recovery.
Here’s to the animal kingdom and their positive effect on the human race!
Kim Lowrey, Certified Colon Hydrotherapist
Colon Hydrotherapy Center, Fayetteville, AR