It has been said to me more than once by family members of patients in nursing homes and on hospice…
Their loved ones can be lying in bed, unresponsive to literally all humans – family, friends, and healthcare staff. Then, in comes a dog, and they open their eyes, or smile, or even talk. All of this directed solely at the dog.
What is it about a dog? What triggers this? they wonder.
I’ve seen this happen many times over the twenty years I’ve been visiting healthcare facilities with my therapy dogs. To me, it’s a magical moment; a brief point in time when the ailing patient experiences a happy thought, or simply comfort from the soft touch of the dog. It’s something only conveyed from canine to human. Something no human seems able to do for another. I’m very pleased that my dogs – and many other therapy dogs like them – are able to do this for patients who are suffering illnesses and pain that even modern medicine cannot relieve.