When your life gets overwhelming, your dog often helps carry your load. They are there, as a quiet friend, to give you support and companionship. It seems like such a simple job your dog is doing that we probably take it for granted, but your he is actually doing so very much. Studies have shown all the remarkable ways dogs are positive forces in our lives. It's because of these findings, we have "therapy dogs" today who are properly certified and regularly visit or work in schools, libraries, hospitals, nursing homes, rehabs and they are even sent to locations were tragedies strike to help people grieving to deal with their loss. Therapy dogs (and in my opinion ALL dogs) have been found to help provide the following:
*Lower blood pressure
*Increased "feel good" hormones such as oxytocin
*Increased feelings of security
*Increased focus and clarity
*Unconditional love, affection and nurturing
*Strengthened social skills
*A sense of purpose
So the next time you need that soothing presence to help calm your nerves or lend you an ear for listening, look no further than your dog. They're ready and willing!
**There are many therapy dog certification organizations out there. If interested, it's important to look into which one would best suit you and your dog based on requirements and location. HERE is a place to get started.