This is my mom, Sue, and her dog, Joey. I can talk about how therapeutic a pet can be until I am blue in the face; but this picture alone is worth 2,000 words (I am counting 1,000 per character in the photo).
My mom had lost her little red-headed poodle named Zoe. Her heart was broken. Zoe was the last dog in a long line of dogs through my mom’s life. We had dogs all the while I was growing up: cockapoo, mutt, another mutt, little pug-style mutt, German shepherd. And she had two Lhasa Apsos before the red-headed poodle.
She did not want another dog.
She wanted Zoe.
But she talked to a poodle breeder that she had met years before when she bought me this girl (not the same dog that is on her lap).
The breeder very quietly introduced her to a little tiny ball of fluff. Therapy happened. And has happened every day for the past six years. That little nut of a poodle stole her heart, healed her heart, and brings her heart joy daily.
My oldest daughter is one of those Dr. Doolittle types. We have had every possible experience with her: dogs running up to her in the stroller, a baby elephant reaching through the fence at a petting zoo and grabbing her feet, two very interesting episodes with Macaws, a zebra came up and nuzzled her hand at the St. Louis Zoo, a very rare cockatiel literally flew to her outside; the list could go on. She has “it” — whatever “it” is.
And so does her 2-year-old son, Hunter. It is hilarious to see the exact same story played out again. He looks just like her, incidentally, and animals flock to him the same. It is like a 28-year-old re-run.
Every time I see an animal video on Facebook I forward it for Hunter to watch. Erin tells me he watches them 25-30 times. It feeds his soul.
We could learn a thing or two about unconditional love from animals if we let them into our life. That little poodle brought comfort to me during my years of kidney disease and a smile to my face upon entering my home every day when I went back to work.
Don’t you just love a joyful greeting when you arrive home (or anywhere)? Who doesn’t? Our critters give us that.
It is therapeutic and I love it. I miss my poodle and I take every opportunity I can to love on someone’s dog or cat and they reward me with snuggles. So very nice. I just spent a couple of days with little Joey at my mom’s. We are really good friends. This sign hangs in the apartment he shares with my mom. It is just so darn true about that little boy. Is it true about a cute critter in your life?
Pat a dog’s head today. Or scratch a kitty’s head. Or watch a YouTube video about a horse covering himself up with a blanket.
It will make you smile.
Have you received furry therapy? I’d love to see a picture of the therapy-giver.
Friend of 4-legged creatures