Therapeutic Power of Dogs
This is a guest blog by my daughter….
You’ve already been introduced to Rosie my 5-year-old Cavapoo who came into our lives in 2012. Little did I know when we decided to get a puppy just how important she would become to my wellbeing and how much she would help me through some extremely difficult times.
Having been married for a year we decided that the time was right to add to our family with a four-legged friend. Having grown up with dogs it was very exciting to be getting one of our own, the addition of a puppy seemed to make our house a home.
We had spent some time choosing the perfect breed for us. One which ideally didn’t shed too much (as my hubby has a phobia of pet hair) and a pup that would fit in with our lifestyles. It didn’t occur to me that the dog we chose would become a source of therapy and support.
It was a year or so later when we first realized that growing our family wasn’t going to be straight forward for us and that four-legged babies may be the best that we could hope for.
Throughout the rollercoaster of emotions that infertility brings Rosie has been my rock. I call her ‘mummy’s angel’ and she is just that. When I’ve been at my lowest she has seemed to just know! She would come and wrap her front legs around my neck, hugging me just like a human would do. She is by my side through thick and thin and picks me up when I’m feeling down.
Infertility really knocks the confidence and can make you feel inferior, incapable and very low, but the beauty of a dog is that no matter how you feel about yourself, they accept you and adore you unconditionally.
I’m not a particularly spiritual person but I do believe that she was sent to me, to help me through what was to be a difficult time. She gives me strength when times are hard and reminds me that although we don’t have babies of our own I am the centre of her little world and she sees me as her mum.
It’s difficult to explain to someone who isn’t a dog lover just how strong the dog/owner bond can be and I would imagine that some would find it strange that a dog has provided me with comfort and support through such hard times just by being there.
It’s not surprising to me that dogs are used for therapy in children’s hospitals and retirement homes. They can help lift the spirits of a person receiving end-of-life care and can calm young children with autism or behavioural difficulties.
Rosie is the most affectionate dog that I have ever known and I honestly can’t remember life without her. If we never have a baby of our own I feel sure that I have then next best thing!
If you ask me dog therapy should be made available on prescription!
Mummy’s Angel 🙂
The last few days I spent with my lovely grandmother I always took my dog with me, her eyes would light up and she would become chatty and very animated and burst into song sometimes. Lotta definitely lifted her spirits every time we visited. Sadly she passed away last October and I am convinced Lotta came to us to help me through grieving for her. Thankfully my grandmother died at the age of 93yr, peacefully at home with her two daughters beside her. Dogs are very theraputic. Love the first photo with the ripples in the sand.
Yes dogs are sent to us for a reason.Thank you for your beautiful comment and I hope Lotta continues to give you the support you need x
Since I am a dog person I totally get it!!! My dog was truly a gift. Left in a box at the post office. We had no idea what he would bring to us in our life. He became my seizure alert dog. He just KNEW. He always knew a few minutes before and yipped to warn me. At my lowest points in life he was there with unconditional love. I totally agree we should be able to have a prescription for them! Just petting a dog yesterday brought me calm. My jess passed away a year ago. What a loss. Unexplainable. But you know. Once you have that kind of love there isn’t much like it.
They are a gift but all too often gone to soon. Jess must have been a very special boy and you had an amazing bond. x
What a wonderful love story. I originally got Callie to be my personal therapy dog, but it seems she would prefer to work with children. They do know, though, and love unbelievably just when you need it.
My dr. has written me a “prescription” for a therapeutic service dog. Used more to justify the need to have one than anything else. But I used to have a vision of developing a non-profit training program therapy dogs for all sorts of mental health needs where they could be free to those who demonstrated need, but I think that’s beyond me now.
The training of therapy dogs is such a good idea and I would be the first to volunteer. So much cheaper and more effective than handing out drugs.x