Personal experiences with the healing power of dogs – Part 3

We’ve all heard stories about the healing powers of dogs. Some people might think it’s a crock, but there is a lot of validity in this theory. There is just something medicinal about having dogs around. That is why some elderly housing developments have pets visit the residents. Dogs know how to lift your mood, which is a major part of the healing process. Companies like New York’s Family Assistance Center are well aware of the healing power of dogs, which is why they train dogs to comfort people. It works! Believe me, I know.

It all happened about two years ago when I got into a car accident. Though it wasn’t a catastrophic accident, it left me feeling detached from reality. As a lot of us know, even the smallest car accidents can take an emotional toll on you. The same was true for me. That was before my current dog, Achilles, literally found his way to my doorstep.

About seven months ago I returned home from work and found this coffee colored Portuguese Hunting Dog sleeping on my front porch. He was thin and looked very timid, much how I felt. At an even closer look, I noticed that his left back paw was all cut up. After slowly gaining his trust, I gave him food and cleaned him up. I was already attached. Now to get my dad to let me keep him…

It took a lot of convincing, but once he saw the connection I had with this dog after a couple of days, he conceded. He saw how much happier I became when the dog was diligently waiting for me to return home from work. He noticed how I was talking more. He saw that there was something about this dog that healed me.

From that day forward, Achilles has been by my side to lift my spirits. Perhaps Achilles did not physically heal me himself, but he had a big role in it. Taking care of another living being often lifts that feeling of helplessness. It helps you concentrate on things other than your own problems. And by healing him, I healed myself.

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