I woke up this morning and learned that today is National Dog Day! I needed something light to write about so I decided to write about my dogs and the benefits of having dogs. National Dog Day is a “Ruff” day for me because I enjoy my fur babies!
I currently have a Shih Tzu, Leo, who is almost eight years old and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Ava, who is almost 9 months old. Both are precious dogs! They are both very therapeutic and keep me company. Some days, I feel like I really need them! They seem to sense when I am having a “ruff” day! They get close, look into my eyes and cuddle right up against me. It’s as if they can tell that I need some extra comfort that day.
It’s a Ruff Day for Therapy
Dogs are often used for therapy. Many are trained especially for emotional support as well as for service. I see dogs at stores, helping their owners around. It takes a special kind of dog for different types of therapy. Some dogs are trained for therapy and brought to schools, hospitals. nursing homes and to visit Veterans.
Mine have never been trained in an actual class, but they seem to know what I need. I have considered getting them extra training, but for now, I watch to see how they know on their own, how to help. The Canine Good Citizen program is a 2 part course that helps the dog and owners work best together. The AKC has good information about owner and dog training here
They are Sensitive Too!
Some dogs have specifically been known to pick up on someone having a seizure. This is particularly helpful for me as in the past, I have had seizures. I see on many social media groups, that people are looking for dogs who are trained for this. Several years ago, I had a boxer named Lady, who could always sense that I was about to seize.
She would watch me closely and come up on the bed, close beside me. This was a good way for my family and for me to know that something soon was going to happen. She had an instinct that she was never trained for, but just “knew”. Besides being able to tell that I would have a seizure soon, having a dog close by is such an incredible comfort. They cuddle up and don’t leave often, just to let me know that they are there for me, to love me! Remeber the story here.
I am extremely grateful for the dogs that we have had! The breeds that are helpful this way are: Labs, Yorkshire Terrier, Beagles, Corgi, Pug, Cavalier King Spaniel, Pomeranian, Golden Retriever, Poodle and Chihuahua. Regardless of what breed you choose though, it is great to treat mental health issues with an emotional support dog.