What Makes You Happy?

While spending this beautiful past Memorial Day weekend at home, not feeling well myself, I was thinking, what makes me happy?  My children, husband, family, church and then I looked out my window and saw the stray dog I had picked up a couple of weeks ago.  I know you are wondering…What?  Here is this animal, that someone didn’t want, rescued and all he can do is look at me and he truly looks like he is smiling!  Of course, I can’t help but smile back.  Isn’t it amazing, what our pets or other people’s pets can do for the lives of everyone around them?

After watching “Buddy” and then going outside to pet and play with him, it is amazing the difference a person can feel by just petting an animal that has nothing but pure devotion being given back.  My kids can even be in a bad mood, but when the dogs come around, their attitude changes drastically.  When my children are crying from being hurt, if I am not the first to get to them, my little malti-tzu is there trying to comfort them.

I did some research on the internet about pet therapy and the Susan G. Komen webpage says “Pet therapy may benefit both patients and caregiving staff in a hospice setting. In one study, the presence of a dog was found to encourage staff-patient interactions, ease patient-visitor relations, and improve staff and patient morale. The preferred interactions with the dog were those that had a relaxing or comforting effect on the human.” The list goes on and on about helping with quality of life needs, alzheimer’s, anxiety, depression, lonliness, pain, etc. 

I have also witnessed this in action by a Covenant Hospice volunteer and her dog named “Nutty.”  The benefits that the patients and families get once they have been visited by Nutty (who is a certified therapy dog) are awesome. Nutty just knows what that patient needs and gives 110% of her love.  This is an amazing thing to witness and I am very proud to be a part of an organization that recruits volunteers AND their wonderful animals to help our patients.

So if you know someone out there that has a wonderful animal who loves to give back, recruit them to become a Covenant Hospice Volunteer!

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About merianmilton

I am a mother of two beautiful girls and my husband and I live in Marianna, FL. I am the Eastern Region Director of Marketing for Covenant Hospice and absolutely love spreading the word about the excellent services of Covenant Hospice and taking care of patients and their families facing a life limiting illness.

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