A spotlight on my brother Romeo, a therapy dog
I hope you all enjoyed my feature on doga last week – Rose and I were inspired to try some of the more challenging yoga poses, and let’s just say I am sticking to my day job writing Waldo’s Wisdom.
Today I wanted to focus on therapy dogs, and since my brother Romeo is a therapy dog, I was able to pick his brain. When he gets home from work and talks about his day, he is always saying how he loves the people he works with, and how it’s a great feeling to be able to lift someone’s spirits and improve their mood.
Pet therapy is becoming more common among health professionals as a way to improve their patients’ overall well-being. Did you know the simple act of petting creates an automatic relaxation response?
Think about that feeling you get when you come home from a stressful day at the office and get a warm greeting from your dog. Doesn’t that instantly make you feel better? When you’re sitting on the couch watching TV, and your dog cuddles up on your lap, don’t you feel more relaxed?
Therapy dogs – such as Romeo – are used in nursing homes and schools, for people with disorders or disabilities, and some people have therapy pets simply for the companionship.
Check out some of the health benefits of therapy dogs:
- Reduce physical pain
- Lower blood pressure
- Enhance cardiovascular health
- Release endorphins that relax the body
- Boost mood and lower depression
- Decrease anxiety and loneliness
- Improve socialization
- Provide comfort and companionship
I also want to highlight The Good Dog Foundation, a charitable organization that provides therapy dog services to people in health care, social service, education and community facilities in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts, and at disaster sites around the country.
Interested in getting a therapy dog of your own or training your dog to become a therapy dog? Click here to find out how to get involved.