Monday, March 9, 2009

Wellness Activity: Pet Therapy

I felt much better today. I'm not sure if it was because we turned the clocks ahead for daylight savings or because I spent a few hours today playing with a red Miniature Pinscher dog we were considering adopting.

It turned out that Dickson looks a lot like Spike (my terrier-mix who died last year) although Dickson is red rather than black. And, although he is a pure-breed Miniature Pinscher, the breeder who owned him--and used him as a stud--abandoned him, and a pet rescue group is trying to find a home for him.

I found Dickson through petfinder.com, which is a great resource. While I had promised my husband we would be dog-free for awhile, I so miss my dogs that once a month I scan Petfinder to see who's available...even though I don't take it any further.

But today, I just had to see Dickson, and the rescue group's adoption clinic was held at a local pet store a few minutes away. I took him for a long walk around the block, and then just sat outside (it was a lovely warm day), put him on my lap, and pet him.

While I have read that the "act of petting" actually lowers your blood pressure and makes you feel better, I believe it is the "act of loving" that truly does this. And pet therapy for depression truly works.

When I came home and researched the breed, I realized we won't be able to adopt Dickson for a number of reasons that are too lengthy to go into.

And although I felt a little sad tonight, knowing that Dickson isn't quite right for us, I felt so happy today because we had a chance to spend time together. And I realized that this past depression was the first one in 14 years where I didn't have Spike to comfort me.

Clearly, it's time to adopt...it's just a question of when.

P.S. The graphic isn't Dickson; he's almost four and this is a younger dog.

10 comments:

Gianna said...

what an adorable little doggy...

my dog snuggles with me every morning when I get up. I'm always very ill in the morning with really bad nausea and I go into the living room where the light is really nice and curl up on the couch until I feel better...

Pippin curls up next to me and helps me wake up to the world with her warm little body next to mine.

Wellness Writer said...

Gianna,
Spike used to do the same for me. When I was really depressed, he would either snuggle right by my side in bed, or lie on the couch with me and remain until I got up!

The combination of unconditional love and companionship was unbeatable! Glad you have Pippin!

Susan

marja said...

You're absolutely right, Susan. I too think it's the act of loving, expressed through petting that is healing. The loving leads to the petting. It's what leads to hugs...and a few other things :)The love comes first.

Love is such a HUGE healer - both the giving and receiving of love.

duanesherry1 said...

Susan,

Adopting an animal....
How great would that be!

My wife has really bad allergies to dander, otherwise, we'd have a dog ourselves....

I know you're still deciding what breed, etc.....but, I'm happy for you Susan....Sounds like a great idea!

Duane

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Marja,
You're right. Love is a great healer. And I do love dogs!

Susan

Wellness Writer said...

Duane,
I wonder if your wife would have a problem with the kind of dog that the Obama family got because one of them is allergic too. I somehow think that Poodles don't cause allergies, but I can't be sure!

Susan

Wendalyn Love said...

I know just what you mean about pet therapy! I will pray that just the right pet at the right time will come into your lives once again!

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Wendalyn,
Thanks so much! I left a comment about your adorable grandchildren. I'm not sure if you got it! Playing with children--particularly if they're related to you--must be the best therapy of all!

Susan

duanesherry1 said...

Susan

Interesting.
Will have to look into that.

Thanks,
Duane

Wellness Writer said...

Duane,
When the Obama's were considering what breed to get, there were all kinds of articles about dogs for people with allergies. I don't know how accurate they were, but I'm sure you can Google them.

Susan