Dog therapy is about how a dog can heal your aches and pains — even now, in the holiday season, with all of its pressures. Caring for your dog can help with a multitude of other ailments too — apathy, aimlessness, fatigue, grumpiness, cabin fever, and sadness.

This is the holiday season — a time for joy, friends, and family. But it can also be a time of loneliness, sadness, and memories of people we’ve lost. A dog can be the prescription for you. He won’t give you time to dwell on your feelings because he has has an agenda. First on the list, get up and have fun.

Are you tired, listless, lost that old get-up-and-go?

How long has it been since you felt really up or had a good, healing laugh? If life doesn’t seem funny to you, a dog can perk up your dried-up sense of humor. I know it’s true, because I had dog therapy with a soft-coated Wheaten terrier. His name is Doctor Mr. Magoo — I’m his rescue human.

I wasn’t finding much to laugh about until Mr. Magoo took over and changed that. First he got me off the couch and moving.

The Dog Approach to Therapy 

Questions your dog therapist will never ask:

  • Are you committed?
  • What’s your motivation?
  • How do you feel today?

Why won’t he ask? Because he doesn’t care. He has a program worked out and he has a timeline. It starts now, so you might as well just get up and go with him.

A happy dpg is great dog therapy for what ails you

There’s a bird outside! And a squirrel! We’re missing them. Let’s go!

From the beginning, Mr. Magoo let me know he was not a do-it-when-you-get-around-to-it kind of guy.

“I am going to keep jumping up and down, barking, and bumping you till you get up and play with me. So, put on your shoes, get my leash, and open the door. We’re walking. After that, we’re playing. Then I will chew on something of yours and take a nap.”

Are you feeling tired and sad? Dog Therapy can help!

Dogs make you smile.

Can a dog help cure sadness? Look at this smile! Can you not smile back?

Have you ever seen a dog smile? They do. And when they smile, they can light up a gloomy room. The dog can’t fix why you’re sad, but maybe she can give you a little break from it and put things in perspective.

Do You Have Aches and Pains?  Get Dog Therapy!

Aches and pains? Get a dog. Of course, you can try going to doctors first if you like. That’s what I did. I had pain, so I went to doctors. The doctors gave me tests. Then they told me the results —  according to their tests, there was nothing wrong with me, so I must not be in pain afterall.

Maybe I was wrong, but I thought I still hurt. To convince me I didn’t, the doctors went through the list of all the things not wrong with me.

It seems that a lot of our aches and pains confound their tests, and this frustrates doctors because they like pains with names that show up on charts.

I wasn’t coninced, so he said I might try a specialist, but he sounded like it wouldn’t matter. I could tell he was getting bored with me.

The Difference Between a Dog Therapist and a Doctor

A big and tough man feels the healing power of a little dog.

You are never too big or tough to feel the healing power of a little dog.

Your dog is a different kind of therapist because he will never get bored with you. Another big difference is in approach. Doctors specialize. Dog therapists are holistic.

I went to an orthopedist. I told him about the pain in my legs. “What part of your leg?” he asked. I told him it started at my shin and went down my foot to my toes. “I can’t help you. I’m a knee specialist.”

Really? You’d think one doctor would be able to cover the whole leg? But no! There are separate ologists for every part. And when you’ve used those up, you can go to a psychiatrist — that’s the doctor who will try to get the pain out of your head where the ologists think it is.

Dog Therapists are the General Practitioners of the Heeling World

Dog therapists know all that’s important to know to heal your aches and pains. If you ask a doctor a question that’s outside of his specialty, he’ll likely scratch his head and look dumbfounded. Dogs won’t do that — actually they will scratch a lot but it’s not the same.

Dogs see all all of your symptoms as part of the same — if you’re in pain, tired, sad, hurt, unmotivated, depressed, or feeling old. And he won’t suggest your problems are all in your mind. He doesn’t care about that either.

Physical therapy didn’t help? Learn How Dog PT works.

[If you’re never down or unmotivated, if your back never aches, your weight never fluctuates more than three pounds, and you exercise, walk, or run for the joy of it, you’re in the wrong blog.]

I went to physical therapy. I washed out. (I know I’m not the only one!) The thing about physical therapy is you have to do it — and not just for the two hours a week that you’re in the clinic.

I went to my first session all motivated. I worked at mastering the tricky exercises with funny names like cat-camel, downward dog, building bridges, and flasher (not as fun as it sounds).

After the session, I went home with a sheet of instructions and excellent intentions. For the next week, I followed the sheet almost to the letter. Except of course the two days it was raining — you can’t walk if it’s raining. You can get sick. Everybody knows that — except your dog.  I’m too tired to exercise today or my back hurts. That’s ok. I can make it up.

Physical Therapy with Your Dog

Physical therapy may work for other people, but …. I did PT for a few weeks before I realized it doesn’t work. Maybe it works for other people, but my issues are different. I was despondent, knowing that pain would be my future.

Therapy with your dog as a coach – the undeniable motivator.

But Mr. Magoo wasn’t having that. He knows how a dog can heal you. His exercise sheet said I had to walk, play, and love every single day. And he made it his job to see to it that I did. We walked every day, rain or shine, and some days two or three times. Then we played and tumbled and loved each other.

It’s a Miracle! I’m proof that a dog can cure your aches and pains.

One day I realized nothing hurt — no burning legs, no aching back. I had energy. I was happy. That morning I got up actually impatient for Mr. Magoo to take me on my walk.

It was a miracle — or at least a mystery. But healing is no mystery for a dog. He knows the prescription because he is the prescription and he’s right there beside you to make it work.

Dog therapy is how your dog can heal your aches and pain — and a multitude of other ills too. Whatever your problem — pain, boredom, apathy, aimlessness, fatigue, sadness, or a dried-up sense of humor — there is a dog out there ready and willing to make you better — a dog to fit every need. You can be your dog’s rescue human.

Do you want to read more about how a dog can revive your dried-up sense of humor. Then, go here to read about the hilarious experiences you can have raising a puppy.  

March 1, 2023