Thankfully now, we can look to a helpful canine friend for cancer therapy support.
Unfortunately, many of us either live with or know someone with cancer. It’s a condition that is stressful for both the patient and his/her family. When you live with illness sometimes it is hard to see beyond your daily needs.
Therapy dogs are trained to help to ease the pain both emotionally and physically.
If you have special needs, a therapy dog is a trained canine is brought into an establishment for emotional support. They visit group homes, nursing homes, children’s hospitals or hospices. They comfort and play with individuals who suffer from severe illnesses, cancer being one of them.
The visits are arranged with a trained handler to accomplish specific goals.
These specially trained and certified dogs can come in all breeds and sizes, but they must be at least one year old. They should genuinely love to be around people, calm, and able to follow simple commands. Handlers make sure dogs are under a vet’s care and up to date with their shots. The dogs are also bathed and groomed the day before they are introduced into the facility.
When the dog and their handlers visit, they spend several hours comforting many of the persons who are emotionally or physically down. The dogs spend 15-20 minutes with each patient. Patients are encouraged to pet, hug, talk to, and even walk the dogs.
The activity is a wildly important part of a therapy dog’s duty. A hormone called endorphin is released when the dogs hug and play with a cancer patient. It eases pain and allows the cancer patient to relax. Patients always welcome them as the time spent with the therapy dog is a great distraction from the reality of the battle.
By petting or walking the therapy dog, the patient can improve their sensory and fine motor skills, balance and coordination. It’s always good to be active, and a therapy dog can help the patient venture out of bed and stretch their legs for a while.
Therapy dogs often make routine visits to cancer centers and hospitals. They bring light to the life of cancer patients who need comfort and a smile.
There are many therapy dog organizations available to do visits. You can speak with one and have them pay a visit to someone you know if it is in accordance with the center’s rules.