Changing Senior Citizen’s Reality

Dog therapy not only benefits children and college students but also the elderly. Interactions with dogs brighten individuals’ lives and fulfill their everyday life with happiness. The common thread of the effect of dog therapy on children, college students, and senior citizens is that dog therapy increases an individual’s positivity and enlightens their attitude toward life. Spending time with dogs increases a person’s chance of uplifting their mood and desire to be surrounded by loved ones.

According to Therapy Dogs and their Benefit to Senior Citizens by Jason Statson, dogs enhance the livelihood of senior citizens. Since senior citizens become lonely and isolated, they experience the effects of depression and anxiety. Also, a study was conducted in 2009, which concluded that dog therapy lowered the levels of senior citizen’s anxiety in a nursing home. Some of the causes of these abandoned feelings are the lack of visits from friends and family or a senior citizen’s spouse recently died. Animals help these people become happier, and a study has shown that senior citizen’s health decreases slower than a depressed individual’s health.

The impact of the relationship between dogs and humans affects the mental state of a person of old age, which influences the health of the individual. Spending fifteen minutes with an animal lowers the levels of cortisol in the brain and increases the levels of serotonin. Therefore, the effect of depression is decreased, and individuals feel more joy in their lives. An individual’s heart rate, blood pressure, and stress levels are lowered due to the contact with this animal. Spending time with dogs is beneficial for senior citizens because cholesterol levels are lowered over a period, and these interactions can protect an individual from stroke. During a study by the American Heart Association, researchers concluded that interacting with dogs prevents heart disease. For example, walking one’s dog is a form of exercise, which elevates the health of the individual.

In addition to the mental and physical effects of dogs’ communication with people, they improve the symptoms of certain diseases such as dementia or Alzheimer’s for senior citizens. Since dogs release the level of stress of an individual, they help people with dementia or Alzheimer’s deal with their anxiety and agitated moods. These animals can calm people with dementia, when they have outbursts or panic attacks. Playing with animals increases an individual’s appreciation for their life and enables them to forget about the reality of their life.

Because of the health benefits of dog therapy, many nursing homes and hospitals provide this innovative therapy for patients. Senior citizens feel healthier and express more energy especially if they are surrounded by loving animals and individuals. Dogs consistently encourage these people to smile and radiate the optimistic and selfless energy that dogs embody. Without the presence of dogs, individuals would reside in environments without as much positivity and genuine compassion. Dogs are a fundamental aspect of our lives that have the ability to change a person’s health in the future.


Works Cited

Statson, Jason. “Therapy Dogs and Their Benefit To Senior Citizens.” Companion Animals, 10 Feb. 2017,


College Student’s Saviors

When I think about Princess and Angel, I instantly imagine my dogs jumping erratically at the sight of my family.  Dogs cause humans to feel accepted and appreciated through their love and inclusivity.  Dogs not only brighten sick children’s days but also relieve the stress of college students.  Through dog therapy on college campuses, students feel that a weight was lifted from their shoulders.

According to an article, Universities in the United States and Canada include therapy dogs in their programs to help reduce the levels of cortisol which help students to reduce their anxiety and depression.  Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia us trying to improve the mental health of its students through the addition of a “Puppy Room.”  Many other Universities are noticing the positive effort of incorporating dogs into these students’ lives.  McGill University in Quebec brought dogs from the Therapeutic Paws of Canada to help students during their exam weeks.  Also, Kent State University created a pet therapy program, called Dogs on Campus, to help students deal with stress and homesickness.

Audrey Giles, a professor from the University of Ottawa Human Kinetics, noticed that petting dogs lowers blood pressure and anxiety.  Spending time with dogs can act as a distraction to a busy college student’s life.  Making time to relax throughout the day is crucial for an individual’s mental health and success in school.  In addition, students who have pets at home can spend time with dogs to remind them of their memories with their dogs.  Petting other dogs will increase these students’ happiness because they can focus on the adorable dog in front of them, instead of worrying about their own dog.

According to another source, scientists at Ohio State University discovered that pets provide support and stress relief for college students who live with their pets.  At Eckerd college in St. Petersburg, Florida, researchers discovered that pet causes students to become more responsible.  They are more likely to attend classes because they know that they have certain obligations toward their pets.  Also, many colleges include dorms for students to have pets such as UCLA, MIT, and Vassar College because of the positivity from the incorporation of dogs into college student’s chaotic lives.

In an article from USA Today, research at the University of California, San Francisco, indicates that the beneficial effects of incorporating animals are that students have clearer minds, and they do not feel obligated to think about school and their studies.  Dogs are present in counseling centers for students to visit, if they are having difficulty with school or personal issues.  Schools like Emory work with organizations that train dogs, while students can experience stress relief.  Also, research portrays that dealing with pets increases the endorphins in an individual’s body.

Dog therapy is the solution to the problem of individual’s stress, depression, and anxiety.  Dogs have the power of healing college students’ and sick children from negative aspects of their lives.  Without the addition of dog therapy, students would be less likely to admit that they are struggling with their classes or anxiety.


Dog Therapy

Dogs not only bring happiness to our everyday lives but also improve the lives of sick children.  With their innate desire to comfort others, dogs have the privilege of spending time with children to brighten their day.  Therapy dogs provide beneficial services to children who have experienced trauma to distract them from their reality.

According to Stephanie Stahl in her article “Popular Pet Therapy Program At CHOP Is Expanding” Through the Gerald Shreiber Pet Therapy Program at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, patients are given a companion and friend to act as a source of comfort during their treatments.  Dogs can help children endure obstacles and medical setbacks more easily because they radiate positive and uplifting energy.  By making the children smile and laugh, these dogs increase their chance of overcoming their hardships.  They provide them with a sense of hope.  Dogs distract the children from the severity of their illnesses, and help children become healthier in a more quickly fashion.  Through the love and support from the therapy dogs, children become more positive, which can increase their chance of getting better.  Most of the time, the children forget that they are in a hospital and feel like a normal child.  Volunteers donate their time and energy because of effect of this special experience.  These dogs have to be comfortable with people and be trained to work with ill children.  Since the dogs are in the presence of sick children with weak immune systems, they must ensure that they will not spread their germs.  The patients use antibacterial wipes before and after every session as a safety precaution.

According to the article Pet Therapy Program to Triple in Size in CHOP family news Because of the success of CHOP’s Pet Therapy Program, it is expanding so that many children gain the special and unique benefits of visits from these dogs.  The goal of the Gerald B. Schreiber Therapy Program is to increase the number of dogs from 24 to 80 dogs.  In addition, the hope of this program is that there will be to increase the amount of visits to one unit from one to two visits every week.  Increasing the number of units that the Hospital enables pet therapy dogs to remain will increase the happiness and hope of more patients.  In addition, CHOP has the dream of offering pet therapy at various CHOP Care Networks locations.  Enhancing awareness of this program and instigating more opportunities will lift the spirits of so many more children.

According to Stephanie Stahl’s article “Health: Local Hospital Expands Pet Therapy Program” The dogs calm and relax the children, so sometimes they forget about their diseases.  Through initiating dogs into the environment of these children, they decrease their anxiety about their treatments and experience the normal life of a child at least for a short amount of time.  Through interacting with dogs, these children gain unconditional love and feel accepted despite the abnormalities of their lives.  Dogs help reduce their stress so that they can focus on maintaining optimistic attitudes to become healthier.







My Dogs’ Quirky Personalities

Angel and Princess’ personalities correlate with their names.  Princess tends to be selfish and only desires human food, while Angel tends to be greedy with her treats.  Angel truly believes that my siblings and I are her puppies.  Angel thinks that she is in charge of my siblings and I and that she has to take care of us.  When we are at school at day, she whimpers and settles down for the day.  Angel sits on the window sill everyday so that she will not miss my siblings getting off of the bus.  Princess loves receiving attention from us, and she always wants us to play with her.  Although Princess and Angel have their quirks, their positivity and energy provide my family with genuine happiness.

My dogs’ individuality is reflected through their personalities because they depict their unique habits and obsessions.  I have a large living room window where Angel looks outside every day.  She sits by the window to protect my family from intruders and to watch out for other dogs.  Whenever I think about this living room window, all I can imagine is Angel plunging through the window at the sight of another black lab.  As Angel’s wide eyes witnessed the dog scampering passed our window, she leaped toward the window to play with the other dog.  In the end, Angel seriously injured her legs due to the cuts in her skin from the glass.  The enthusiasm that these dogs embody radiates throughout my house and impacts the optimism that I strive to implement in my life.

When Angel and Princess see other dogs, they are enraged with pure happiness and start barking obnoxiously.  Angel’s bark is more frightening than Princess’ bark, even though Princess is larger.  Angel’s bark is more of a howl, and Princess’ bark is a sequel despite her size.  Even though their barks are deafening to my ears, Angel and Princess lift the energy of my house and encourage us to smile at the simplicities in life.

Of course Princess and Angel have their favorite spots for sleeping.  Princess loves sleeping outside when it snows because of her fur coat.  She also sleeps in front of my front door because of the cold tile floor.  She often prevents my family and I from leaving the house and people entering from the house.  Angel curls into a ball on “her” chair in my living room so that she can not only see everyone from above but also squeeze into the comfort of the soft couch pillows.

Since Angel and Princess weigh more than most of the members of my family, many people have been scared of them.  Every single time someone visits my house, Angel and Princess jump all over them.  Although they are ecstatic to see new people, they consequently frighten visitors including mailmen and friends.  Even though they are bigger than your average dog, they provide an immense amount of love and acceptance that is worth the loud barking at dawn.

Final Additions to the Family

When I was young, I was frightened by dogs.  Ironically, I am writing my passion blog about my love for dogs.  In third grade, I used to stand on top of my friend’s kitchen table to prevent her corgi from “attacking” me.  Keep in mind that her corgi was 10 inches tall and weighed 25 pounds.  About a year later, my family adopted Angel, a 90 pound black lab, and we brought home Princess, a 130 pound malamute, two years later.

I was still scared of dogs, when I met Angel for the first time.  Her energy and excitement overwhelmed me because she dashed from me to my dad, brother, mother, sister, and then back to me.  To protect myself from this bundle of joy, I sat on the window sill.  As soon as I realized that Angel’s heart was full of love, I fell in love with her.  Whenever I am upset about a poor grade or a mistake, I can always count on hugging her and being comforted by her.

When we met Princess, her name was Red and her brother’s name was Blue.  Despite Princess’ immense size, she never would hurt anyone.  Even though she is nine years old, she still thinks that she is a delicate baby.  Princess was the perfect, final, and furry addition to our family.

Princess and her brother were abused before they came to the SPCA.  When Princess came home, she seemed very skeptical about us.  Loud noises, such as thunder and fireworks, terrify her.  Every time she hears an intense noise, she squeezes under tables or behind one of the chairs in our family room, even though she barely fits.  Princess only began to fully trust my family after a few years, because of the trauma that she had endured.

According to an article from The Humane Society of the United States, dogs are one of the most common victims of animal abuse.  The 1,423 U.S. cruelty cases suggest that 71.1% of animal abuse cases involved the torturing of dogs.  In addition, one survey declares that 71% of abused human victims stated that their abuser also mistreated animals.

Animal cruelty causes dogs to feel alone.  Since they do not trust humans, they are more likely to react violently with mechanisms such as biting.  The personalities of dogs are deeply affected by mistreatment.  Constantly living in fear causes these dogs to put up a defensive guard, and the resulting stress ultimately leads to a variety of physical and emotional issues.

Despite the abuse that Princess endured, her loving and calm nature has developed over the years.  Angel and Princess provide my family with unconditional love, which is the greatest gift in life.  They have clearly made our lives richer and happier.

Although my house might be known in the neighborhood as the house with two crazy dogs, who freak out at the sight of dogs or people through our large living room window, it is filled with love and laughter thanks to Princess and Angel.