Pet Therapy

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Man’s best friend.

While this may seem to be a bit off-topic from what I typically write about, it ties into well-rounded health, peace and happiness.

If you own a pet–or if a pet owns you, as is the case in my house–it’s easy to see why there are careers in pet therapy, facilitating healing through the love of animals.  Not only do animals make us happy, they can make us healthier.

Studies have shown that animals can help with depression, anxiety, fatigue, aid in the healing process and coping skills from mental health illnesses, heart disease, and even cancer.

They’re known to help and bring comfort to hospital patients, victims of crime, and military vets.

As for me personally, coming home at the end of the day to find my little Pomeranian anxiously jumping on her hind legs as I come through the door, nothing but sheer excitement to see me, brightens my mood from the most difficult day.  It can lift a fifty pound boulder right off my shoulders and crush it to a pile of silky sand at my feet.

Ninety-nine percent of the time I make it a point to come home on my lunch hour as well. Yes, to let her go outside to do her “thing,” observe and explore the back yard, and get some fresh air, but equally for a shot, my “fix” of the pure joy she brings to me.

It’s on those mental health days I’ve mentioned in an earlier post that snuggling under a blanket, good book in hand, and cuddling with Roxie, who is overjoyed with having me home, giving me kisses and unconditional love that only animals have a way of giving just perfectly, that heals and strengthens my heart and mind.

She sees me at my ugliest, physically and emotionally, and loves me anyway. Complete acceptance and forgiveness. Her enthusiasm for morning play as she bounces and buries her nose beneath the covers, burrowing her way across the bed like a groundhog, brings that first smile to my face to start my day.

In the midst of a bad day, I’ve never been able to not “turn that frown upside down” and smile when an email pops up with pictures of animals and babies.

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A heart can’t resist smiling, tensions easing, gratitude bubbling to the surface, when we see the innocence and feel the peace from such pure love. The kind of love God knows we crave.  And the kind of love that He provides through His wonderful creations, finding joy when His children are filled with joy.  Amazing God.

All is Grace.

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