As people with health challenges enjoy the outdoors this summer, many of us are spending time in the sunshine with our beloved pets. On the days we can’t get out because of illness, our companions are there too, stretching out beside us on the couch and showing off their funny antics to make us laugh.
Science has proven that pets can improve physical and mental health in numerous ways, from lowering blood pressure to reducing anxiety and depression. Service animals can assist people with disabilities with tasks such as retrieving dropped items, alerting to seizures or low blood sugar, and helping people with PTSD stay grounded.
Here are a few of the amazing stories that we found on this subject:
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Malice the service dog.
“This is my service dog, Malice! He is trained to detect anxiety and panic attacks as well as changes in heart rate. He also responds to physical behaviors I don’t realize I’m doing or I can’t control at the time. Now that he goes to school with me, I am able to function more normally. If I’m about to have a panic attack in class, he will provide deep pressure therapy until it either subsides or until I need to leave class for a little while to recoup. He’s made my life so much easier; I’m finally able to leave my house without being terrified of everything around me. He’s there for me when I’m having really good days, and he doesn’t leave me when I’m having bad days. I’m very thankful for him and everything he does for me on a daily basis.” — Cheyenne