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Pets Reduce Stress at Work… More Companies, Citing Benefits, Allowing Pets at Work

Recent study shows pets in the workplace can reduce employee stress… Hmmm, most pet owners knew that years ago without studies!

gan-pets-at-workUSAToday: INDIANAPOLIS — Employers and employees are acknowledging the advantages and benefits of a growing office trend that allows pets in the workplace. And now there’s research to support what some have known for years.

According to a Virginia Commonwealth University study, employees who bring their dogs to work produced lower levels of the stress-causing hormone cortisol.

Published in spring 2012, the study, led by Randolph Barker, a professor of management, was conducted at a dinnerware company in North Carolina, which sees 20 to 30 dogs a day on its premises. As the workday went on, research found average stress level scores fell about 11% among workers who had brought their dogs to work, while they increased 70% for those who did not.

"When I’m stressed, I usually call Zoe (a chocolate Labrador retriever) over and rub her ear. That’s my therapy," said Ann Marie DeLa Rosa, 26, who works at software design company Inverse-Square in downtown Indianapolis and appreciated the company’s pet-friendly policy.

Not only does Zoe, who could be mistaken for a small grizzly bear with a smile, alleviate her stress, DeLa Rosa said, the dog also forces her owner to take a lunch break.

"Zoe gets me out," she said. "Otherwise, I tend to power through lunch when I want to get something done. Taking a 15-minute walk with her refreshes me, and I can focus easier."

According to a 2008 national poll of working Americans 18 and older by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, 17% reported their company permits pets at work. In 2012, the group reported in a separate study that workers surveyed brought their dogs with them to work 22 times in 2012, compared with 17 times in 2008.

Deb Havill, a clinical social worker and therapist, conducts client sessions along with her two rescue dogs. But David and Jai aren’t trained therapy dogs; they just accompany their owner during therapy sessions.

"Dogs were domesticated to be attentive to us," said Havill, who keeps two couches in her Indianapolis office — one for clients and one for the dogs. "It is natural for us to be around them, so to not be around them would be unnatural. We would be in an unnatural state."

Havill explained that touching or petting an animal has been shown to lower the galvanic skin response much like the science behind the polygraph test, when measuring feelings such as fear, stress or anxiety.

"Reaching down and petting a dog is an easy way to ratchet things down when you need to."

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Ann Marie DeLa Rosa is shown with her dog, Zoe, a chocolate Labrador retriever as Hoagey, a yellow lab that belongs to fellow worker, noses in for a little TLC. (Photo: Frank Espich, The Indiapolis Star)

Janet Myers travels all over the country with her Bernese mountain dog, advocating the benefits of pet therapy and animal-assisted activities in health care.

A nurse as well as the director of risk management at Schneck Medical Center in Seymour, Ind., Myers founded the hospital’s pet-therapy program and next year will speak at the National Pediatric Nurses conference.

Bentley, her dog, is a popular therapy dog with his own children’s book and schedule of special appearances. But his main job is still to be with his owner in her office at least three times a week.

"It’s been proven that people are always more productive when they are happy," Myers said. "If Bentley is by my side, I am not thinking of needing to be home to care for him or that he’s lonely. I often stay late at work with him snoozing away under my desk. He is a big part of my life."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cites dozens of animal experts who report that pets can decrease blood pressure and cholesterol levels as well as increase opportunities for exercise and socialization.

Commercial developer Turner Woodard knows this better than anyone. He’s the man who made it possible for employers at The Stutz business center in Indianapolis to have pet-friendly office policies — and about 25% of the tenants take advantage of the perk.

"We know it’s a positive," he said. "We need to see more of it in the world."

However, if you’re looking to implement a formal policy, there are several factors to consider, Barker said.

"You have to think about employee health (allergies), minimizing disruptions and keeping pets safe," he said.

Amazon and Purina, cited as two of the most pet-friendly companies in the country, don’t allow pets because many factories and distribution centers can be dangerous workspaces.

Bob Baird, who brings his two dogs, Ruby and Hoagey to work, knows that when he makes a new hire at Inverse-Square, he might be excluding or discouraging potential applicants who might not like dogs.

"But having dogs here is indicative of our culture," said Baird, whose dog Hoagey, a 110-pound yellow Labrador retriever, is notorious for snoring too loudly during conference calls.

"For us, having dogs in the office is out of necessity," Baird said. "We love having them around because this is (a) home away from home. We work long hours, and it’s nice to have them with us."

Related:

Dogs at Work Can Alleviate Employee Stress, Study Shows

Pets reduce stress at work

Video:  Study – Pets in the Work Place Reduce Stress

12 companies that let you bring your dog to work

Chapman University Hosts ‘Furry Friends For Finals’

Londonderry School Uses Therapy Dog in Classroom

Collar to Keep Track of Dogs’ Temperature is in the Works

Pet Therapy

Pets are way better than Therapy!

Can the U.S. Become a No-Kill Nation?

The Difference Between No Kill Nation & Other Animal Advocacy Groups

March 4, 2013 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Riding as Therapy

True Health Is True Wealth:

Equine therapy is catching on as a fun and helpful activity for many MS patients.

One to three times a week a growing group of MS patients across the country saddle up to relieve some of their symptoms and to boost their self-esteem. Equine therapy is used to treat a variety of diseases and disorders besides MS, including mental illness, cerebral palsy, and brain injury. According to the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association Inc. (NARHA) in Denver, Colorado, more than 26,000 riders with disabilities benefit from therapeutic horseback riding activities at NARHA centers.

Hippotherapy, which means "treatment with the help of a horse," has been widely practiced in this country since the 1960’s. In 1952 at the Helsinki Olympic Games, Liz Hartel of Denmark garnered the silver medal for dressage (The execution by a trained horse of complex movements in response to barely perceptible signals from its rider.) despite being paralyzed from polio. Her victory helped focus the world on using horses to improve the health of those with various disabilities. As the experts investigated various ways for horses to help patients, they found that not all people can be aided in the same way.

"Hippotherapy is using the horse strictly as a modality for therapy, where the riders are not influencing the horse at all," explains Occupational Therapist Erin Hurley, director of the Unicorn Handicapped Riding Association in Medford, NJ. "Equestrian therapy is more of a global term. It combines therapy and recreation. That’s what most people with MS do. I think they get more out of it if they are an active partner in the process."

According to the NARHA, research shows that all therapeutic riding participants can experience physical, emotional, and mental rewards. Because horseback riding gently and rhythmically moves the rider’s body in a manner similar to a human gait, riders with physical disabilities often show improvement in flexibility, balance, and muscle strength. For those with mental or emotional problems, the unique relationship formed with the horse can lead to boosted confidence, patience, and self-esteem. All who ride also receive the benefit of a special sense of independence which comes from riding.

Equine therapy can provide certain benefits to MS patients. "The benefits from the therapy depend on the disability. With MS, it’s a physical disability in which case there are a lot of different benefits. For example, if you have an MS patient in a wheelchair, he (or she) is not getting a lot of stimulation to the spine," Ms. Hurley says. "The horse’s movement stimulates the human movement in the way the horse walks. If you’re sitting on the horse’s back, you’re getting those benefits of side to side movement and rotation movement each time the horse steps forward. Just the sensory input helps to stimulate the muscles in different ways. At the other end of the spectrum with spascity, equestrian therapy helps to loosen tight muscles especially through the hip area, lower extremities, and through the trunk."

The MS patients who ride at Ms. Hurley’s center come either once or twice a week. They ride for 30 minutes with the help of two side walkers, a person who leads the horse, and an instructor. By having the four people work alongside the rider, safety is ensured. Since these helpers are trained to work with MS patients who have weakness and balance problems, no one should be afraid to give horse therapy a try, say the experts.

"Each person works on different goals as we walk through the woods or inside our indoor arena depending on the weather," she says. "One woman with MS who started with us this year was having trouble walking. After a ride she says she can walk much better."

The experts and MS patients say that equestrian therapy offers much more to MS patients then symptom relief. "It raises their self-esteem and gives them something to do for recreation. They love it and really look forward to it," says Ms. Hurley.

Just getting out in the fresh air and doing something physical can do wonders for MS patients say the experts. "One of the most frustrating aspects of chronic illness or disability is the effect it has on leisure-time activities. Just when a person would benefit most from the relaxation, enjoyment, and socialization that come from recreation, he is limited in what he can do. It is important, however, despite what limitations may exist, to maintain existing or find new interests," write Dr. Robert Shuman and Dr. Janice Schwartz in their book, Understanding Multiple Sclerosis: A Handbook for Families (Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1988). "There is a network of horseback riding programs for the physically challenged. Many people with MS find that riding builds back abdominal muscles, strengthens weak legs, and is a terrific source of self-confidence."

"Don’t defy the diagnosis, try to defy the verdict." – Norman Cousins

For Rita McGinley, 44, of Westmont, NJ, equestrian therapy helped many of her symptoms and also raised her spirits. She rode every week for about a year at the Pegasus Riding Academy in Philadelphia. Diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS four years ago, the registered nurse was forced to quit her job and later counseled patients at MSAA headquarters in Cherry Hill. Now undergoing intense physical therapy, she plans to return to equestrian therapy at the end of her current regimen. "It is so enjoyable. I ride bareback where there’s just a blanket between me and the horse. I feel every movement of those four hooves, and I can feel the muscles in my pelvic floor moving. I have problems with my bladder, and after I ride I can feel much improvement," she says. "It’s also great for strengthening and balance. There’s a general feeling of well-being on a horse and that another living being is helping me. I love it."

Members of the Montville, NJ MS Support Group have saddled up for a therapeutic ride at the Handicapped Riding Center at West Orange, NJ, part of the Montclair Riding Academy, for the past nine years. Dedicated to the development of horseback riding as a therapeutic, recreational, and social activity for people with disabilities, the academy hosts these MS patients every Wednesday morning at its gorgeous grounds.

"We really don’t know how it works. But from talking with different people, it seems that the horse helps them to move some of their muscles that they cannot move on their own. Most of the people with MS who come here think they are getting some benefit out of it. Some people insist on riding bareback so they have closer contact with the horse, but most people use the western saddle because it’s safer and easier to use," says John Sinico, a spokesperson for center. "They love it. They swear by it. They also tell us that mentally it’s a nice relief from their everyday worries. Instead of sitting home and feeling sorry for themselves they are out doing something. It’s active, not passive. All in all, it’s very beneficial."

Montville MS Support Group Leader Tom Hinkey says that some of the group members receive some relief from their spascity through riding, but they all get emotional benefits from it. By getting out and socializing and focusing on the horse, he says, they can forget about their problems and enjoy the day.

"If you don’t have a fear of horses, it can probably help some of your symptoms. It’s a lot of fun," says Ms. McGinley. "Whenever I rode, I would come home with a ‘horse healthy high.’ I miss it and can’t wait to do it again once my current physical therapy is over."
– Christine Norris

PROMOTING A SAFE RIDE

The North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA) was founded in 1969 to promote and support therapeutic horseback riding programs throughout the U.S. and Canada. Comprised of more than 500 riding centers, the NARHA helps ensure safe instruction by administering a certification program for riding instructors. NARHA also offers an accreditation program to riding centers to promote excellence in providing therapeutically-valid services. The association provides riding centers with guidelines for selecting riders who are suitable and appropriate for therapeutic riding activities.

Multiple Sclerosis-Afflicted Neil Cavuto Slams MSNBC’s Attacks on Ann Romney: ‘Horse’s Asses’…

Uneducated Slander:

Earlier this week MSNBC’s continuous string of near slander against Mitt Romney has just spawned yet another aggressive bit of push-back, this time from Neil Cavuto of Fox News. You may recall that MSNBC anchor Lawrence O‘Donnell recently slammed Mitt Romney’s wife, Ann Romney, for claiming that she participates in the sport of dressage as therapy for her multiple sclerosis. According to O’Donnell, “There are a lot of things you can do to try to deal with MS. But come on, dressage does not appear in any of the more traditional courses of treatment.”

Turns out that that assertion is breathtakingly wrong, as Cavuto pointed out while citing multiple clinical organizations that treat multiple sclerosis and consider horse therapy a very traditional, and often very effective form of therapy. Watch his takedown here:

Cavuto Video to MsNBC: “Lean Forward – Bend Over! You… ‘Horses Asses’…

As you can plainly see, Cavuto doesn’t pull punches in this clip. “You’ve got a disease in your name – maybe you should stop calling names,” he starts the segment.

He then proceeds to go right for the jugular, while still remaining preternaturally calm, calling MSNBC a collection of “horse’s asses“ and slamming them as ”condescending, sanctimonious“ people with ”incredible ignorance” of multiple sclerosis treatments. He then points out that the horse riding therapy – known as “hippotherapy,” according to Cavuto – is used to treat walking conditions associated with multiple sclerosis. Quoting from the “industry bible” on neurology, Cavuto says straight out that “this is a legitimate therapy.”

Cavuto’s stern correction only serves to confirm the generally low opinion of MSNBC which is beginning to percolate amongst the rest of the media. Glenn Beck, for instance, hammered the network over its smear tactics on his radio show today after savaging their most recent factual errors:

“You have no credibility at all,” Beck thundered. “The ratings are going to tank on MSNBC, because Americans are fair.”

On a side note, setting aside the numerous factual errors on the network, Cavuto‘s takedown misses a blistering example of hypocrisy on the part of Lawrence O’Donnell. To complain about how particular therapies don’t appear on the “traditional” list, when the Left has pushed for numerous untested medical ideas, such as embryonic stem cell research and assisted suicide. Neither of these is in any way “traditional,” and O’Donnell is not on record opposing either of them, so why the selectiveness?

Hear and see Beck radio takedown of MSNBC video to fit their agenda: Here

https://i2.wp.com/bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/thevillagesdailysun.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/e0/0e07aaf8-b059-11e1-af05-0019bb2963f4/4fd02e27aa6a2.image.jpg

"If they (the liberal bias media) is that egregious at lying on that issue, what else are they lying about?"

Dim Bulb: Lawrence O’Donnell | WashingtonExaminer.com

Ann Romney’s Horse Comes in Third in Olympic Qualifying Event …

London 2012 Olympics: Mitt Romney’s wife’s horse Rafalca heading for Games

What is Therapeutic Riding?

To learn more about therapeutic riding or for a list of centers in your area, contact NAHRA at:

PO Box 33150
Denver, CO 80233

(800) 369-7433

(303) 452-1212

You may also visit NARHA on the world wide web at: http://www.NARHA.org.

June 24, 2012 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Dogs Know

This really is a great story

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Lucky Dog….

Anyone who has pets will really like this. You’ll like it even if you don’t and you may even decide you need one!

Mary and her husband Jim had a dog named Lucky. Lucky was a real character. Whenever Mary and Jim had company come for a weekend visit they would warn their friends to not leave their luggage open because Lucky would help himself to whatever struck his fancy. Inevitably, someone would forget and something would come up missing.

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Mary or Jim would go to Lucky’s toy box in the basement and there the treasure would be, amid all of Lucky’s other favorite toys. Lucky always stashed his finds in his toy box and he was very particular that his toys stay in the box..

It happened that Mary found out she had breast cancer. Something told her she was going to die of this disease….in fact; she was just sure it was fatal.

She scheduled the double mastectomy, fear riding her shoulders.  The night before she was to go to the hospital she cuddled with Lucky. A thought struck her… what would happen to Lucky? Although the three-year-old dog liked Jim, he was Mary’s dog through and through. If I die, Lucky will be abandoned, Mary thought. He won’t understand that I didn’t want to leave him!  The thought made her sadder than thinking of her own death.

The double mastectomy was harder on Mary than her doctors had anticipated and Mary was hospitalized for over two weeks. Jim took Lucky for his evening walk faithfully, but the little dog just drooped, whining and miserable.

Finally the day came for Mary to leave the hospital. When she arrived home, Mary was so exhausted she couldn’t even make it up the steps to her bedroom.  Jim made his wife comfortable on the couch and left her to nap..

Lucky stood watching Mary but he didn’t come to her when she called.  It made Mary sad but sleep soon overcame her and she dozed.

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When Mary woke for a second she couldn’t understand what was wrong.  She couldn’t move her head and her body felt heavy and hot. But panic soon gave way to laughter when Mary realized the problem. She was covered, literally blanketed, with every treasure Lucky owned!  While she had slept, the sorrowing dog had made trip after trip to the basement bringing his beloved mistress all his favorite things in life.

He had covered her with his love.
Mary forgot about dying.  Instead she and Lucky began living again, walking further and further together every day. It’s been 12 years now, and Mary is still cancer-free. Lucky, he still steals treasures and stashes them in his toy box but Mary remains his greatest treasure..

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Remember… Live every day to the fullest. Each minute is a blessing from God. And never forget… the people who make a difference in our lives are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards.  They are the ones that care for us.  For those of us true pet lovers, our dogs and cats are people too; perhaps even better friends than our human friends and acquaintances.

Live simply… Love seriously. Care deeply.  Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

A small request
All you are asked to do is keep this sharing this, even if it is only to one more person, in memory of anyone you know that has been struck down by cancer or is still fighting their battle.

And also to use it as an encouragement to fight against animal abuse.  Please intercede on their behalf whenever you are needed, even if it is just a hunch.

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Pet Therapy

Can Dogs Smell Cancer?

Just One More Pet

August 29, 2010 Posted by | animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Success Stories, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Chapman University Hosts ‘Furry Friends For Finals’

ORANGE,CA (CBS)  – Photo Courtesy: Chicago Sun-Times

Students at Chapman University can cuddle with puppies to alleviate stress from final examinations.

To help students deal with the stress of finals, a mental awareness group at Chapman University is bringing puppies to the campus.

Students will be able to pet, cuddle and play with the pooches during “Furry Friends for Finals.”

The dogs will be available on Dec. 9 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the Argyros Walkway

Some students at Chapman University in Orange have added a weapon to their arsenal for coping with finals week — puppies.
A bunch of them will be stationed outside the university library for students to pet and play with Wednesday, in the middle of “cram week.”

The event, called “Furry Friends for Finals,” is being organized by the university’s Active Minds club, which promotes mental awareness and sought to find a way to relieve stress during finals week, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“It has been proven that having a dog helps relieve stress, so we thought it would be a cute idea if we brought some furry friends on campus,” Jennifer Heinz, a sophomore and integrated educational studies major who helped organize the event, told The Times. She said her poodle-and-Maltese mix, Bindi, helps her relax.

“I love my dog,” she told The Times. “Dogs are always so happy and want to play, and that helps make you happier.”

Active Minds will also have pamphlets and resources available on how students can reduce stress and take care of themselves during finals, Megan Brown, the group’s advisor and a counselor for Student Psychological Counseling Services, told the newspaper.

“Research has shown that animals can reduce anxiety and stress,” said Brown, who is also a licensed marriage and family therapist and says many students miss the pets they left behind at home.

The pooches — 10 Malteses, Yorkies, pugs and dachshunds — will be provided by Puppies & Reptiles for Parties, a Torrance-based company, The Times reported.

Orange County college has a new plan for dealing with finals-week stress: Puppies

December 4, 2009 |  1:30 pm

The fact that a friendly animal can help ease a human’s stress is well-established.  It was only a matter of time, then, before institutes of higher learning started catching on.  Locally, Chapman University in Orange County has done just that; a student group has arranged to have 10 puppies — Maltese, Yorkshire terriers, dachshunds and pugs — delivered to the campus to play with students during finals week.  Our colleague My-Thuan Tran has the story; here’s an excerpt:

PuppiesOn Wednesday, in the middle of “cram week,” a bunch of puppies will be stationed outside the university library for students to pet and play with. The event, called “Furry Friends for Finals,” is being organized by the university’s Active Minds club, which promotes mental awareness.

“It has been proven that having a dog helps relieve stress, so we thought it would be a cute idea if we brought some furry friends on campus,” said Jennifer Heinz, a sophomore and integrated educational studies major who helped organize the event.

Heinz said her poodle-and-Maltese mix, Bindi, helps her relax.

“I love my dog,” she said. “Dogs are always so happy and want to play, and that helps make you happier.”

Heinz said she’s received comments from other students expressing excitement about the cuddly canines.

“You can automatically see on someone’s face when something happy comes to them, and little dogs are a cute way of doing that,” she said.

More:

Chapman U. to try puppy therapy

A Chapman University student group wanted to find a way to relieve stress during finals week, so it came up with an innovative approach: puppies.
On Wednesday, in the middle of “cram week,” a bunch of puppies will be stationed outside the university library for students to pet and play with. The event, called “Furry Friends for Finals,” is being organized by the university’s Active Minds club, which promotes mental awareness.

“It has been proven that having a dog helps relieve stress, so we thought it would be a cute idea if we brought some furry friends on campus,” said Jennifer Heinz, a sophomore and integrated educational studies major who helped organize the event.

Heinz said her poodle-and-Maltese mix, Bindi, helps her relax.

“I love my dog,” she said. “Dogs are always so happy and want to play, and that helps make you happier.”

Heinz said she’s received comments from other students expressing excitement about the cuddly canines.

“You can automatically see on someone’s face when something happy comes to them, and little dogs are a cute way of doing that,” she said.

“It’s a nice way to step back from reality and just be stress-free for a moment.”

Active Minds will also have pamphlets and resources available on how students can reduce stress and take care of themselves during finals, said Megan Brown, the group’s advisor and a counselor for Student Psychological Counseling Services.

“The puppies are to draw them in and give them something fun and relaxing that will help them de-stress, but it also provides them with resources to help them through finals as well,” Brown said.

Many students miss the pets they left behind at home, she said.

“Research has shown that animals can reduce anxiety and stress,” said Brown, who is also a licensed marriage and family therapist.

The pooches — 10 Malteses, Yorkies, pugs and dachshunds — will be provided by Puppies & Reptiles for Parties, a Torrance-based company.

The 6,000-student campus in Orange also offers other functions to help students with the stress of finals, including a “Midnight Breakfast” where pancakes, eggs and coffee are served by the chancellor and professors.

Chapman U. puppies

Shannon Stewart with three of the puppies she will take to Chapman University in Orange next week as part of the school’s efforts to help students de-stress during finals. (Christine Cotter / Los Angeles Times / December 3, 2009) – Copyright © 2009, The Los Angeles Times

*Chapman University is a very student friendly campus, always open to new ideas.  Our daughter graduated from that campus just last year and would have loved this added de-stressor at finals time.  What a great idea!! Pet therapy has been proven to be a great aid in helping people recover from a long list of ailments and often replace medications and drugs with love.  Ask Marion/Just One More Pet~

December 10, 2009 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Success Stories, Unusual Stories | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Pets are way better than Therapy!

Get a dog or a cat

The often underestimated significance of a pet in the life of a human has been brought forward in a growing body of research that suggests that a household animal can provide a range of relational benefits.

Dr. Froma Walsh poured the research in two articles, entitled “Human-Animal Bonds I,” (focused on the benefits of companion animals) and “Human-Animal Bonds II,” (focused on their role in couple and family dynamics and family therapy).

The expert sought to determine the value of the human-animal bond in child development, elderly care, mental illness, physical impairment, dementia, abuse and trauma recovery, and the rehabilitation of incarcerated youth and adults.

She further looked at how the relationship can strengthen human resilience through times of crisis, persistent adversity, and disruptive transitions, such as relocation, divorce, widowhood, and adoption.

The expert found that a pet maybe seen as part of the healing team and even as a co-therapist in ensuring the well-being by providing a range of benefits, ranging from stress reduction and playfulness, to loyal companionship, affection, comfort, security, and unconditional love.

Dr. Walsh said: “The powerful meaning and significance of companion animals is underestimated.”

The study was published in the October 2009 issue of the Family Process. (ANI)

Posted: Just One More Pet

December 8, 2009 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, animals, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Pet Adoption, Pet Friendship and Love, pet fun, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Family Pets Returned to Jaycee Dugard and Daughters

(AP Photo)

Here’s a piece of good news in the midst of the disturbing, ongoing Jaycee Dugard kidnapping saga: according to People, a small menagerie of pets have been removed from Jaycee’s kidnapper’s home and will be reunited with Jaycee and her young daughters. Animal control officials recovered from kidnapper Phillip Garrido’s house five cats, two dogs (a Rottweiler mix and a Labrador mix), three cockatiels, a pigeon, a parakeet, and a mouse. All of the animals are reportedly in good health and have been well cared for.

Unfortunately, the reunion between Jaycee, her daughters, and their pets hasn’t happened yet. People reports that the animals are currently being kept safely in the custody of California’s Contra Costa animal shelter while the Dugards remain in counseling. The animals will not be available for adoption by the general public while they remain at the shelter, as Jaycee has indicated her wish to keep her family’s pets.

Jaycee and her daughters — 15-year-old Starlit and 11-year-old Angel — are reportedly very eager to have their animals returned to them and it’s easy to understand why. We desperately miss our pets if we so much as leave for a week of vacation. These three girls are going through something far more devastating than most of us could ever imagine; it’s only natural that they would want their beloved pets back.

And, certainly, the presence of their beloved pets will provide some much-needed therapeutic comfort as Jaycee, Starlit, and Angel go through their difficult life adjustments and counseling. We wish them a speedy reunion!

by Paul Ciampanelli

Posted: Just One More Pet

September 26, 2009 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Pets, Success Stories | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face!”

Pups 59 Days Old & Magnum Goes To His Family sm Photo by the UCLA Shutterbug

Our Pups Goji and Princess With Their Dad Apachi Looking On…

“There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.” ~ Ben Williams

May 20, 2009 Posted by | Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, pet fun, Pets | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

10 Top Reasons to Adopt A Pet On Mother’s Day… Or Any Other Day

petsIf  Mom or Grandma has been considering getting a dog or cat, Mother’s Day is a perfect time —not to surprise her — but take her to several shelters and see what’s out there. Use Petfinder to screen for the best candidates.  That way she’ll get exactly what she was looking for and the pet has a good chance of staying put rather than being returned.

If Mom is in love with a particular breed, check Petfinder in case one is available through a shelter.

Here’s the top 10 reasons to consider adopting a homeless or shelter pet:

1. You save many lives. Not only do you save the life of the animal you adopt, you will get an animal that is spayed or neutered, which means no unwanted litters to end up at an animal control facility.

2. You won’t be supporting puppy mills. Puppy factory farms will have one less customer to feed their reprehensible business.  They produce  pets with expensive health issues, physical and mental, and look at pets as “products”. Female dogs are forced into a constant state of pregnancy for the duration of their lives, not cared for or let out of their cages.  When you buy from a pet shop, it supports this industry.

3. You get the best deal ever.  Shelter animals are fully vaccinated, spay/neutered, and more often than not, micro-chipped, and heartworm tested.

4.  You become an active participant in preventing cruelty to animals.  The Oprah show on puppy mills made it very clear to all that, even if unwittingly, pet shops selling pets get their animals from puppy mills.  You can dismantle this practice by making different choices. 

5.  Shelters are not the scary places they used to be! Many provide added services. The progress that has been made over the past decade in sheltering practices means that many shelters offer their “temporary residents” basic training, so they are at least familiar with the concept of being on leash, and the concept of “sit” and “walk”  Some shelters are set up so that daycare, kenneling, and grooming are available. 

6.  Shelters, good ones, always want their animals returned to them if there’s a problem–not to some other facility, or to another family. You won’t get any guarantees like that from a pet shop.

7.  Shelters will know the dog or cat, their personalities, some of their querks and a lot of their personality.  New puppies are so cute, cuddly, but they have a lot of needs. They require that someone be home all day to care for them, potty train them, feed them often and teach themeverything.  If you are getting a puppy and will leave him or her in a cage more than an hour please don’t get a puppy. It is not at all advisable to cage a puppy all day long.  That kind of life would be a cruelty to the dog and to you.  You would not be happy with a puppy that went wild every time you let him or her out.

8. Shelters are part of the community and work to save lives every day.  They are there to serve the animals and match them to the best possible homes. 

9.  Shelters provide opportunities to learn through volunteering, expand your network and know more about the community you live in.

10. Adopt—it’s a matter of life, and the life you save may be your own!  Studies have it that pets lower blood pressure and that pet people live longer. Just feeling good about how you contribute to solving a societal problem doesn’t hurt, either.

Hope you had a great Mother’s Day!

By: Mary Haight – Examiner.com

Then next year mom and grandma can take their friend to one of the many dog parks with free entrance, goodies and goodie bags for Mother’s Day.

May 11, 2009 Posted by | Animal Rescues, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, responsible pet ownership, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Wagging the Dog, and a Finger – Emotional Service Dogs

 

 

On a sun-drenched weekend last month, cafes from TriBeCa to the Upper West Side were swelling with diners, many of whom left dogs tied to parking meters in deference to Health Department rules that prohibit pets in restaurants. At French Roast on upper Broadway, however, two women sat down to brunch with dogs in tow: a golden retriever and a Yorkie toted in a bag.

 

Illustration by Hadi Farahani; photograph by Robert Daly/Getty Images

 

 

“They both said that their animals were emotional service dogs,” said Gil Ohana, the manager, explaining why now all of a sudden in the last several months, we’re hearing this.”

Anthony Milburn, at right with four of his dogs, rely on their pets for emotional well-being.

he let them in. “One of them actually carried a doctor’s letter.”

Health care professionals have recommended animals for psychological or emotional support for more than two decades, based on research showing many benefits, including longer lives and less stress for pet owners.

But recently a number of New York restaurateurs have noticed a surge in the number of diners seeking to bring dogs inside for emotional support, where previously restaurants had accommodated only dogs for the blind.

“I had never heard of emotional support animals before,” said Steve Hanson, an owner of 12 restaurants including Blue Fin and Blue Water Grill in Manhattan. ”

The increasing appearance of pets whose owners say they are needed for emotional support in restaurants — as well as on airplanes, in offices and even in health spas — goes back, according to those who train such animals, to a 2003 ruling by the Department of Transportation. It clarified policies regarding disabled passengers on airplanes, stating for the first time that animals used to aid people with emotional ailments like depression or anxiety should be given the same access and privileges as animals helping people with physical disabilities like blindness or deafness.

The following year appellate courts in New York State for the first time accepted tenants’ arguments in two cases that emotional support was a viable reason to keep a pet despite a building’s no-pets policy. Word of the cases and of the Transportation Department’s ruling spread, aided by television and the Internet. Now airlines are grappling with how to accommodate 200-pound dogs in the passenger cabin and even emotional-support goats. And businesses like restaurants not directly addressed in the airline or housing decisions face a newly empowered group of customers seeking admittance with their animals.

WHILE most people who train animals that help the disabled — known as service animals — are happy that deserving people are aided, some are also concerned that pet owners who might simply prefer to brunch with their Labradoodle are abusing the guidelines.

“The D.O.T. guidance document was an outrageous decision,” said Joan Froling, chairwoman of the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners, a nonprofit organization representing people who depend on service dogs. “Instead of clarifying the difference between emotional support animals who provide comfort by their mere presence and animals trained to perform specific services for the disabled, they decided that support animals were service animals.”

No one interviewed for this article admitted to taking advantage of the guidelines, but there is evidence that it happens. Cynthia Dodge, the founder and owner of Tutor Service Dogs in Greenfield, Mass., said she has seen people’s lives transformed by emotional-support animals. She has also “run into a couple of people with small dogs that claim they are emotional support animals but they are not,” she said. “I’ve had teenagers approach me wanting to get their dogs certified. This isn’t cute and is a total insult to the disabled community. They are ruining it for people who need it.”

The 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act states that anyone depending on an animal to function should be allowed full access to all private businesses that serve the public, like restaurants, stores and theaters. The law specifies that such animals must be trained specifically to assist their owner. True service animals are trained in tasks like finding a spouse when a person is in distress, or preventing people from rolling onto their stomachs during seizures.

But now, because the 2003 Department of Transportation document does not include language about training, pet owners can claim that even untrained puppies are “service animals,” Ms. Froling said. “People think, ‘If the D.O.T. says I can take my animal on a plane, I can take it anywhere,’ ” she said.

Aphrodite Clamar-Cohen, who teaches psychology at John Jay College in Manhattan and sees a psychotherapist, said her dog, a pit bull mix, helps fend off dark moods that began after her husband died eight years ago. She learned about psychological support pets from the Delta Society, a nonprofit group that aims to bring people and animals together, and got her dog, Alexander, last year. “When I travel I tell hotels up front that ‘Alexander Dog Cohen’ is coming and he is my emotional-needs dog,” she said. She acknowledged that the dog is not trained as a service animal.

“He is necessary for my mental health,” she said. “I would find myself at loose ends without him.”

It is widely accepted that animals can provide emotional benefits to people. “There is a lot of evidence that animals are major antidepressants,” said Carole Fudin, a clinical social worker who specializes in the bond between animals and humans. “They give security and are wonderful emotional grease to help people with incapacitating fears like agoraphobia.”

Groups of pet owners with specially trained “therapy dogs” have long visited hospitals and volunteered after disasters. Following the 9/11 attack in New York, 100 therapy dogs were enlisted to comfort victims’ families at a special center.

But Dr. Fudin said that emotional reliance on an animal can be taken too far. “If a person can’t entertain the idea of going out without an animal, that would suggest an extreme anxiety level,” she said, “and he or she should probably be on medication, in psychotherapy or both.”

The question of when an animal goes from being a pet that provides love and companionship to an emotional-support animal, without which an owner cannot get through a day, is subjective.

Elicia Brand, 36, said the role her Bernese mountain dog played in her life changed drastically after Ms. Brand suffered severe traumas — being trapped on a subway during the 9/11 attack and being raped the next year. “I am a strong person and it almost did me in,” she said of the rape. “My dog was my crutch. If I didn’t have him I wouldn’t be here now.” After Sept. 11, Ms. Brand enrolled her dog in disaster relief training and put him through 10 weeks of training so he could be a therapy animal to others as well as herself. The dog now accompanies her everywhere, even to work. She also sees a therapist and takes medication.

One reason it is difficult to sort out the varying levels of dependency people have on their animals is that it is a violation of the disabilities act to inquire about someone’s disability, and although service animals are supposed to be trained, there is no definitive list of skills such animals must have.

“The A.D.A. started with the idea of the honor system,” Ms. Froling said. “The goal was to make sure that people with disabilities were not hassled. They didn’t list the services an animal should perform because they didn’t want to limit creativity, and they didn’t want to specify dogs because monkeys were being trained in helpful tasks.”

These days people rely on a veritable Noah’s Ark of support animals. Tami McLallen, a spokeswoman for American Airlines, said that although dogs are the most common service animals taken onto planes, the airline has had to accommodate monkeys, miniature horses, cats and even an emotional support duck. “Its owner dressed it up in clothes,” she recalled.

There have also been at least two instances (on American and Delta) in which airlines have been presented with emotional support goats. Ms. McLallen said the airline flies service animals every day; all owners need to do is show up with a letter from a mental health professional and the animal can fly free in the cabin.

There is no way to know how many of the pets now sitting in coach class or accompanying their owners to dinner at restaurants are trained in health-related tasks. But the fact that dog vests bearing the words “service animal” and wallet-size cards explaining the rights of a support-dog owner are available over the Internet, no questions asked, suggests there is wiggle room for those wishing to exploit it.

One such wallet card proclaims: “This person is accompanied by a Service Dog — an animal individually trained to perform tasks for people with disabilities. Service Dogs are working animals, not pets.” On the back is a number to call at the Department of Justice for information about the Americans With Disabilities Act.

One 30-year-old woman, a resident of Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., said she does not see a psychotherapist but suffers from anxiety and abandonment issues and learned about emotional-needs dogs from a television show. She ordered a dog vest over the Internet with the words “service dog in training” for one of the several dogs she lives with, even though none are trained as service animals. “Having my dogs with me makes me feel less hostile,” said the woman, who refused to give her name.

“I can fine people or have them put in jail if they don’t let me in a restaurant with my dogs, because they are violating my rights,” she insisted.

In general, business owners seem to extend themselves to accommodate service animals. Though Completely Bare, a chain of health spas in New York and Palm Beach, Fla., has a policy barring animals in treatment rooms, Cindy Barshop, the company’s owner, said that she made an exception for a customer who insisted that she needed her large dog for support while she had laser hair removal. “We had to cover the dog with a blanket to protect its eyes during the procedure,” Ms. Barshop said.

One area in which business owners have resisted what they see as abuse of the law is housing. Litigators for both tenants and landlords say cases involving people’s demands to have service animals admitted to no-pets buildings in New York have risen sharply in the last two years, with rulings often in the tenants’ favor.

“If you have backing of a medical professional and you can show a connection between a disabling condition and the keeping of an animal, I have 99.9 percent success,” said Karen Copeland, a tenants’ lawyer.

One of her current clients maintains that she needs an animal in her apartment because she is a recovering alcoholic and, apart from her pet, all her other friends are drinkers. Another client, Anthony Milburn, lives in Kew Gardens, Queens, with five cocker spaniels and one mixed breed. He says he has severe chest pains from stress and has a note from a social worker saying that he relies on his pets for his emotional well-being. He is pursuing a case against his landlord.

Bradley Silverbush, a partner at Borah, Goldstein, Altschuler, Schwartz & Nahins, the largest landlord law firm in New York, said people are manipulating the law.

“I’m a dog owner and a dog lover but to claim emotional support is beyond affection,” he said. “People send letters from doctors saying the person relies on the animal, or a person has just lost a parent and purchased a Pomeranian. Some doctors will write anything if asked by a patient.”

Jerri Cohen, the owner of a jewelry store in Manhattan, said she tried living without animals when she married a man who bought an apartment in a no-dog building. “I went into a severe depression and had to go on medication,” she said. “Three years later a friend bought me two pug puppies, and I refused to give them away. My co-op threatened us with eviction. An attorney suggested I get a letter from my psychiatrist. She wrote that I was emotionally needy and the lawyer said that was no good. So she wrote that I can barely function or run my store without them. I won the case.

“They sleep with me,” she said. “They have a double stroller. They go to restaurants with me and fly with me.”

By BETH LANDMAN, originally published – New York Times:  May 14, 2006

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March 23, 2009 Posted by | Just One More Pet, Pet and Animal Training, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Political Change, Unusual Stories | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stroke Heroes and Their Pets

I have two cats. Buddy is a large tabby tom cat that I found in a snow bank when he was a kitten. He was very young, weak, thin, and had frostbite on the tip of his ear and part of a paw. I can only guess that a thoughtless owner of a litter of kittens tried to get rid of them. I only found one.  Lucy is a smaller tabby queen that I inherited when she was a kitten. She is my granddaughter’s cat.  I am the permanent foster mom since my granddaughter is not allowed to have another cat in her apartment building. Buddy and Lucy are best of friends. One entertains the other and they are usually found rolled up in a big ball of fur on the couch. They are strictly indoor cats.

Over 16 years after having two strokes, I’ve had a dog, bird, and now the cats. The bird was a cockatiel named Kato that I taught to talk, or perhaps the bird taught me to talk too as I was aphasic (a language problem caused by stroke or damage to the brain which leads to trouble speaking, understanding, writing, or reading) post-stroke. Eventually, the bird talked so much that I couldn’t keep him quiet! When I was on the phone he must have thought I was talking to him and would go on and on about how pretty he was and screeched out to “Be quiet! I’m studying!” It wasn’t difficult to figure out that the old bird had picked that quip up from my years at the university.

The dog was a miniature schnauzer named Cindy. She was our family pet when the kids were young. Cindy used to dance on her hind legs when we played the piano. I’m not sure if it was because she wanted to do a jig or because she wanted us to stop playing. Either way, she added great joy to our family.

Now, the children have grown and I live alone. But I am never lonely with Buddy and Lucy around. As a pet owner I have the responsibility of making sure they are fed each day and are provided fresh water. I make sure they are current with their immunizations and vet checks. I brush them at least once a week. And I talk to them too. Not that they understand me but they do react to the intonation of my voice. Believe it or not, they sleep with me too. No matter how many times I’ve sent them from my room they always come back to cuddle. Buddy curls up by my abdomen and Lucy wraps around my lower legs. Everyone is comfortable, except when I move they seem disturbed and meow their discontent.

Pets are important to all of us. After a stroke, pets can be wonderful housemates as well as giving us an opportunity to care for something else other than ourselves. Pets can heal our souls too. Cindy made me laugh when she danced to music. The cockatiels comb was always messy and he’d cock his head and look at you just to make you smile. The cats play with my knitting yarn then run and hide as if to say, “I didn’t do it!” All of these little creatures have added enjoyment to my life. They have helped me to keep depression, a side effect of stroke, at bay. They have helped me realize that I am an important individual in their lives as well as my own. 

by  Cleo Hutton @ MyHeartCentral

Permalink: https://justonemorepet.wordpress.com/2008/10/16/stroke-heroes-and-their-pets/

October 16, 2008 Posted by | Just One More Pet, Pets, Success Stories | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment