Today I woke up with a high fever, a terribly sore throat, the chills and aches everywhere in my body. This is the first time I’ve been seriously ill without my mom to help me. I know for some this might not be a big deal but for me it was. I spent my day shivering, sleeping and skyping with my mom to try to feel better. Unfortunately, you can’t transport chicken noodle soup or heated rice bags through the computer (at least you can’t yet), so I didn’t really feel much improvement. However, when my mom brought my dog onto the screen, I actually smiled, laughed and forgot about how horrible I was feeling for a moment.
I have a lhasa poo dog, which is a mix of a lhasa apso and poodle. If you don’t already understand how adorable this is, have a look at these pictures. My dog, Ricky, has always had a way of bring smiles to people’s faces as I’m sure many dogs do. My family had always talked about making him a therapy dog to help patients in hospitals feel better. I decided to look up if it is true that dogs can actually make people feel better, and I found that there is scientific proof that they do!
As I found out in this article, dogs have been known to have many health benefits for pet owners, including stress relief which I experienced today. It turns out that dogs can decrease owners’ blood pressure, and even raise serotonin and dopamine levels in people, which reduces stress and makes people feel happier. I then was reminded of something I had heard of earlier this month from a friend which was that at Tufts University, during mid terms they have a “puppy room” which allows stressed out students to go play with puppies for a while and reduce their stress. I decided to investigate this to see if it was true and sure enough I found this great video about the puppy love experiments at Tufts University. After experiencing what I did today, I think this is a great idea and would be very effective for stressed out students.
What do you think about this? Have you had any therapeutic pet experiences?