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Love on a Leash Dog Therapy

Croasdaile Village residents Emilie Beglane’s Black Lab, Cricket, Sharon Pitts’ Delilah, a Golden Retriever, and non-resident Becky Moore’s Samoyed, Tiki licks any hand in reach, to the delight of all lickees. The faces of residents and visitors in Pavilion Healthcare and Assisted Living all brighten each week on first seeing these Therapy Dogs.

Most of us understand that dogs and some other pets can bring comfort and affection to us, as we scratch, pet and gaze at them, and they respond with their looks, licks or purrs.

Scientists have learned that in this process the brains of both the person and animal release oxytocin and serotonin, feel-good hormones which foster comfort, safety, love, and improved quality of life. All of these feelings reduce pulse, blood pressure and stress, helping to reduce anxiety and depression. Imagine having been alone and possibly touch-deprived until a small dog joins you on couch or bed (with your permission), or a larger dog leans against your legs.