Monday, January 21, 2008

Pet Therapy: Healing, Recovery and Love ~ Pawprints and Purrs

Pet Therapy: Healing, Recovery and Love ~ Pawprints and Purrs: "That animals feel our pain, our joy, and our stress should come as no surprise for anyone who has a pet. Whether we recognize it or not, the emotional as well as the physical environment we humans create has a direct impact on the way our pets behave. Dr. Schoen explains that '...we emit energetic signals related to our deepest feelings that are picked up by those around us - especially our pets.' The emotional benefits from animals are difficult to measure, meaning that pets help humans without anyone knowing exactly why. What experts know, however, is that animals allow humans to focus, even for a short period of time, on something other than themselves.

Animals, especially small ones, have shown promise for many conditions, both social and physical:

Pets help Alzheimer's patients by bringing them back to the present. Specially trained pups can also help alert others that an Alzheimer's patient has wandered into harm's way. 'Pets can provide a measure of safety to people with the disease,' says Thomas Kirk, a vice president of a chapter of the Alzheimer's Association."