Have you ever felt that you needed your pet around when you were down, depressed or just simply bored? Is it not common to feel the need to have your pet with you for that extra love and tenderness during sickness, more so when you know that you are diagnosed of a serious medical problem?
Owning a pet is a very emotionally enriching experience and adds great warmth to your life just like your loved ones. An animal that you care for, spend time and play with is so much joy to have at home. Pets tend to feel your happiness, excitement, anger, and pain too. The bond you develop goes a long way and feels like as though your pet understands everything that you are going through, even when you are silent. Whenever you are in a situation that makes you feel all alone, with nobody to talk to or understands you, your pet is next to you, snuggling and nibbling at you.
Many say that they love their pets so much that they feel like they are inseparable even when unwell and hospitalized where pets are not allowed. Imagine the joy of patients, who are very ill and hospitalized for a long time, were allowed to meet their pets when in hospital!
A remarkable hospital, Juravinski in Canada, understanding and realizing the delight and happiness that a pet can give, started a program that allows dogs and cats to visit their ill owners. It started with a request of a patient called Zachary at the same hospital who was diagnosed of cancer. He would always request to see his dogs, to which the doctors agreed. It was noticed that every time he saw his dogs, his health would improve.
Pet visits proved to be beneficial to patients at the hospitals as it improved their feel good factor and reduced stress, improving the overall mental and emotional health of a patient. Patients felt a sense of relief in sharing and talking about their fears and pain with their pets. The healing of patients also showed improvement.
The hospital administration realizing the encouraging effects of pet visits, started a program to allow terminally ill patients to meet their pets. The program was greatly appreciated by the patients, doctors and grieving families too. It is amazing how a paw touch is as endearing as human touch.