THE DOGS CAN SAVE OUR MENTAL HEALTH
“Dogs have a way of finding people who need them, filling an emptiness we don’t even know we have.”
Every single animal has a capability to heal our souls, it is just up to us, to let them come close and feel our hidden universe of different emotions, from hope to fear and vice versa. The animals are very sensible and they can detect the things we don’t want to show or share and it is not just the saying that animals can sense good or bad people. On that scale, the dogs are on the first place with the reason. Maybe, personally, I can argue with it since I find cats also hypersensible but the fact is that the dogs have some kind of “forever maternal instinct”, in the relation with humans. This is why the dogs are showing the best performance in the therapy science and the results are outstanding.
The therapy dogs are trained professional dogs to help people that are challenging mental issues. Their training consist of different certifications, from support of children in education, over senior nursing homes to the highly specialised mental hospitals and their patients. They are trained to be able to socialise with those people in needs and to give them comfort, so they are actually trained to do great things in public places or activities. This dog certification consists of many behavioural tests that dogs need to check and pass, to be able to get the title of therapy dog. Depending on the area of support, the dogs are also categorised, considering the advantages of the specific breed. There are small and big types of therapy dogs and if you are not sure which is for you or your issues, maybe the best option is to consult the expert in the field of therapy dogs advisory.
I find the program of therapy dogs that help children dealing with reading one of the best because we all know how difficult is sometimes for the youngest to solve the first steps in schools. Even if they have difficulties with reading, when they read in judgement-free zone, in the front of the animal, they show better results and engagement. This also applies on the adults that have problems with public speaking and discomfort.
The therapy dogs are also very successful in helping the kids with autism. It is stated that the targeted children with this disease are happier and more active around dogs than around people. It is that bond that dogs are able to create with no real efforts or interests. They are simply honest and loving and they bring happiness and joy to those around them. I believe that each animal lover will agree that all pets we have are our therapy pets since they give us much more, they bring our souls into harmony again, after the time in the stressful world. You should just think of those beautiful aquariums in some waiting rooms and how peaceful vibes your get, after just starring at it for some minutes. This is all behavioural and rehabilitation psychology at its best.
The history of therapy animals is very rich and based on writings of ESA Registration of America: “The Ancient Greeks had been known to use horses to help calm patients in surgery. Sigmund Freud brought his dog, Jo-Fi to every therapy session once he noticed the dog’s presence helped patients open up and retain his advice. Even Quakers in the 18th Century brought in well-behaved early therapy dogs to treat those with mental illness. But the use of therapy dogs really took off during World War II when they were used by the Red Cross to treat veterans suffering from PTSD. So don’t discount therapy dogs as any sort of hippy, new-age idea: using pets to help the sick has been trusted for hundreds of years.”
The happy people usually do have some pets due to the fact that pets do give us unconditional love. Nevertheless, the science studied the influence of dogs on our physical health, too and Harvard Medical School even proved that dogs actually can reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. This further means that therapy dogs that work especially in the mental and physical support area, do help people in need, sharing positivity and helping them to reduce all challenges to their wellbeing.
The comfort dogs are bringing pure joy and ease the problems in daily life. No matter where they go or what and how they share their love, people that are under dog´s love and cuddling, do not have time to think about darkness, pain and fears, they are completely under the powerful paw of puppy. The AAT or Animal- Assisted Therapy has shown the benefits against many different illness. The patients with PTSD, ADHD, autism, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression, Alzheimer´s disease, cancer or heart issues report good outcome of AAT. There is still lot of unknown advantages of this therapy and the scientists are working hard on investigating what our animal friends can give us all for nothing.
When we talk about the types of dogs that could be engaged in the AAT, there is usually an explanation that each friendly breed could be a therapy service. Mostly, there are Labradors, golden retrievers, standard poodles, St. Bernards and German shepherd that are showing the great talent in this kind of work. The small breeds like Pomeranians and mini poodles are also very well known for therapy talents. The experts check the qualities of the dog and its reaction on many stimulants around, to be able to advise if the animal could be a right one for therapy or not. The main point is to have emotionally stable, happy and calm pet that will be good in comforting those in stress. Just one minute of cuddling with pet or, in this case, with the dog can reduce your stress and help you see the world in better light. The animals and especially dogs are the permanent ray of sunshine that is kissing our cheeks, even when the sky seems grey.
In the U.S. have been registered more than 50,000 therapy dogs since it is a serious mission and not many dogs complete successfully the 3-years long therapy dog training. However, it is not only about education, it is also much more about feeling and if you have your own dog on your side, you have your comfort and the source of joy. You don’t need any other therapy but to get up, smile and share the new good vibes with your four legs friends, that turn your life into colourful stories of awaken hopes, loyal love and empowered dreams. It is not just like that said that dogs are man´s best friends.