Share and Care Dogs

Hi Everyone:

Sorry for my long absence.  My husband, Peter, was terminally ill and I was unable to get to my blog.  Pete passed in April and I miss him more than mere words can say.

Today I want to readdress the value of therapy dogs. As you may know, I wrote how important therapy dogs were for those suffering with PTSD or helpful for those feeling mild anxiety.  We all need a friend.  Sometimes, though, we are not up to dealing with a person, a group, or even interacting with anyone.  Hopefully the day will come when we can get back into relationships which will help us recover, but as we work towards this, a lot of us do not have to be totally alone. 

As we struggle to find our way, confused as to who we are, there might be a friend available who will not judge us, nor question what we do or do not do.  This friend is content just to be in our presence, offering comfort, love and acceptance

All dogs have some therapeutic value.  Anyone from Aries to Pisces who shares their life with a dog knows how much their dog enhances their life.  What a relief it can be to kick back and grin at your dog, both of you happy to be together.  You might even say, after a long day, “You and me against the world, buddy!’ The dog will wag its tail, give you a kiss and totally agree with you.  He or she has always known this and is glad you know it too.

 For those who feel cut off from the world and find getting up in the morning a difficult task, reaching out to a person may not be possible at that time.  However, the first step to recovery could be to reach out and stoke your dog’s head, to accept the lick on your hand. 

For my husband, so very ill and unable to accept the turn his life had taken, his therapy dog was Jake. Jake is a pit bull mix rescued as most pet pits are. The comfort Jake gave to my husband cannot be measured.  Pete had cancer and he opted to fight it with extensive chemotherapy.  He fought for over a year until his oncologist advised him to stop.  The chemo had ceased to help. Pete got up in the mornings not because I had made breakfast and wanted him to eat. He resisted food.  He got up because Jake sat by his bed staring into his face until he got up. Pete insisted it was Jake who was hungry when I put his breakfast on the table. We made a deal.  If I made sausage and bacon for Jake, Pete would eat his breakfast.  It must have been one of those secret communications between them. 🙂

After breakfast they both sat on the couch to watch the news every morning, Pete with his arm around his dog and Jake snuggling in.  “Isn’t he beautiful?” Pete asks often.  Well, he certainly is.  Pete’s face, wracked in pain would relax when he stroked his dog and spoke to him.  Jake was an attentive listener. 

As Pete’s illness progressed nurses came to the house daily.  I had to lock Jake up.  He was fine with them.  They were not fine with him.  Initially I was grateful for the help and listened to all their needs until I heard the nurse tell Pete that dogs had no place in his sick room.  I heard him ask again for his dog.  The well-meaning nurse denied him again.I thought about this. There was no doubt about it.  Pete needed the comfort of his dog. I went to speak with the nurse and told her that Pete had an important visitor arriving and would it be convenient for her to leave for a while.  She said she had an errand to run.

For the first time in days, Pete’s face lit up when Jake ran into his bedroom.  Jake took his usual place sitting as close to the bed as he could while Pete stroked him with a shaking hand.  “Isn’t Jake a beautiful dog, Lu?” he asked.  Tears running down my cheeks, I agreed.  Jake definitely is a beautiful dog.

I understood the nurses’ concerns, but whenever they were not in the house, Jake was with his master.

When Father George came to pray with Pete, his family gathered around the bed. Father George had no objection to an important family member being present.  He told Pete he had a fine dog. 

All of Pete’s people helped him and supported him.  He was a much loved man. Pete showed his love for us in return, but the only family member that caused his face to soften, helped to ease his pain and lessen his fear of the unknown was his dog, Jake. 

Pete loved to take Jake to the park, but the time had passed when he could walk him himself. Fortunately his daughter Nikki was happy to help and they were still able to go for a walk together.

I wanted to write this blog as a tribute to Jake and to all therapy dogs the world over. 

Therapy dogs are dogs who want to share and care about you and your life. They are out there waiting for you to find them. They need you as much as you need them – I hope you find each other.

Thanks for sharing – until next post 🙂

Therapy Dogs


I am recovering from spinal surgery when I had a fusion.  Sorry f0r the lack of posts recently, but I’ve been busy getting back to normal.

Normal is a word everyone uses, but sometimes people find it hard to get their life back to what is normal for them.   There can be many reasons for their inability to cope, physical, emotional, or social. They need some help to get up, deal with their day and walk out of the door.  For some, it becomes a safer world if a trusted friend, like a therapy dog, is always with them.  For many, a therapy dog will not only be the trusted friend needed, but a source of courage enabling a person to walk out into the world.

Dog people – I am definitely one of them –  need a dog in their lives to complete it.  A house feels empty without the enthusiastic welcome your dog gives you when you turn the key in the lock. For some people, though, the dog is by their side 24/7.  They do not venture out of their home without their dogs.  Therapy dogs, can help with depression, isolation, aggression and paralyzing fear.  It is also helpful in less severe but still disabling things like reading  A library in North Carolina allows children who have problems reading  to read aloud to a therapy dog

Google Images


I need a friend Google Images


Who is taking who for a walk? Google Images

For most of us, a dog is a companion.  For some it is a lifeline

I did not realize that I missed the dogs when I was in hospital and then a rehab hospital.  I was lucky enough to be sent to Marion Joy, supportive of patients needs  I was told my dogs could visit.  I was in a wheelchair at that time and thought it would be nice to see them, but was fragile enough not to be enthusiastic about much.  Dogs were not allowed in patients’ rooms, but were brought to the downstairs lobby.  From there the patients could go outside if able, and share some outside time.

When I received a phone call that Sally was downstairs, I smiled and left the bed to get into the wheelchair, totally unaware what my reaction would be when I saw the little dog.  One of my support people wheeled me down the long corridor to the elevator, informing the nurses at their station that I was leaving the floor and why.  The elevator doors opened at the lobby and there, on the back of the couch was Sally.  I called her name, tears filling my eyes.  Sally gave a short bark and leapt into my lap, licking my face enthusiastically.  I cried a river.  All the emotions I had hidden before surgery, post surgery and the painful rehab surfaced.  I hugged that little dog, burying my face in her fur.  My daughter, Nikki, had tears in her eyes as did my friend Loraine who watched the encounter.  It was the first time I had cried since I got the bad news I needed a fusion.

tiny black dog

From that day on I was interested in therapy dogs. Sally allowed me to feel and react.  I just didn’t realize I needed to do that. Now it is four months since my surgery.  I am back behind the wheel driving and have completed PT.  Sure it is going to take months to get back my strength, but I get better every day.   Sally stays at home with Jake, but she was definitely my little therapy dog.

When I started to research therapy dogs, I found the subject to be very well addressed.   Pet Partners is interesting.  The dog handlers are volunteers and the dogs are all sorts of breeds.  If you think you would like to volunteer yourself and your dog, check out Pet Partners and the many more that would welcome you with open arms.  All the dog has to be is trained in the basics and to like people.

The Alliance of Therapy Dogs is a good source for information for a facility that would welcome a visit from therapy dogs to help lower their patients blood pressure and put a grin on their faces.

Of course, if you are considering getting a therapy dog, you may find a dog suggested for your zodiac personality a bonus.  You can check out these dogs in AstroPups, available at Amazon Books.

Thanks for visiting my blog. If you have a comment please leave one, love to hear from you.  Chat to you soon 🙂