Secret Life of a Non Pet Person
I am not a pet person. I like other people's but I have never wanted to really own my own. There are some gorgeous dogs and I have to admit that I am partial to a labradoodle and, I have never met a poodle that I did not love.
Confession - I'm not a plant person nor a pet person
While I am confessing things, I am also not a plant person. I have a hard time keeping them alive. I have even had on occasion, a colleague adopts a plant I had in my office because my attempts at keeping it alive were so futile. Either too much water or not enough, too much sun or forgetting that the blinds on that side of the room had been closed for days because of the glare. I guess I figured that I really should not impact my caretaking skills on a pet. I decided that I am a pet lover from afar type person, I like visiting friends and family pets but I don't want to be a pet owner.
There are lots of great example of amazing pets in healthcare. There are suggestions that pets provide caregiving duties of another human. It is thought that pets provide physical, mental, motivational and social needs to those that they come in contact with them. I am not a pet owner, however, I have been a pet sitter on occasion (I know, you may be shocked to think that people trust me with their pets!). You can become incredibly attached to them in a short time. Pets are there to greet you at the door, they lie on your feet when you are working, they provide company while cooking a meal. Essentially, we build a very similar relationship with our pets as we do humans sometimes, even better than the ones we have with humans.
Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT)
An area that has gained a lot of popularity, is with Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT). I personally think this is a really cool program. It reminds me of a pet-friendly and more grown-up version of the activities that volunteers would drop off to you if you were a kid in the hospital. It was often games and crafts, in my experiences but the AAT is providing a lot more benefits.
AAT is essentially a form of therapy that uses dogs or other animals to help people cope with health problems. The certified therapy pet visits in hospital, palliative care centers and other health centers. The pets provide comfort, relief and provide a distraction from symptoms, discomfort, and stress.1
Animal-assisted therapy (AAT), also known as pet therapy, is a form of therapy that uses dogs and other animals to help people cope with health problems, including cancer. Visiting with a certified therapy pet in the hospital can provide patients and their families with comfort, relief, and a distraction from pain, discomfort, and stress. AAT has been shown to reduce stress and improve mood and energy levels and decreased perceived discomfort and anxiety.
While I have not experienced AAT myself, I can certainly attest to the good they have provided friends of mine.
To all the pets owner that have trained and certified their pets for use in AAT. Thank you so much for providing comfort to others.
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