Saturday, January 25, 2014

Pet Therapy

One of the innovative aspects of the hospital where I work is the Pet Therapy.  On occasion, someone will bring a well-trained dog to our floor for patients to enjoy.  Of course, the animals are extremely clean and very friendly.  Subsequently, only certain dogs qualify for this special role.  Yet, when one of these canines visit our area, I usually put my workload on hold momentarily to rub on the dog.  It seems to add a special joy to my day.

It is no wonder that when I underwent surgery for cancer in 2004 I asked for the Pet Therapy people to visit.  Unfortunately, they were off that week.

Yet, studies show the beneficial aspects of owning pets.  I read an interesting article about the health benefits of owning a cat recently.  For example, having a cat in the household reduces stress, anxiety, depression, and even the chance of having a heart attack among other things.

Come to think of it, except for brief periods, there have always been cats in my household, providing their soothing balm.  Even when life has been tough with financial problems, family issues, broken down vehicles, work difficulties, or even health concerns, stopping for a few moments and petting my cat has been a welcome relief.  No matter what may be happening on my world outside my home, as long as I have a loving cat to console me, then life is okay.

Albert Schweitzer also recognized the value of cats by stating, "There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats".  So, when life is tough, chaotic and stressful, I'm glad that I have a comforting feline within my reach. 

Hence, my saving grace on many occasions continues to be, "Here, kitty, kitty.  I need you." 


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