If you have ever visited the Cancer Education Center on a Monday or Wednesday afternoon, perhaps you have meet Kelso or Hannah. They are our furry friends who are also therapy dogs. Their handlers volunteer their time and their dog for the benefit of patients at Mayo Clinic.
A therapy dog could also be called a comfort dog. Spending some time petting or talking with a dog has health benefits. Pets can help people recover or to better cope with health problems they may be experiencing. Studies show that mood boosting hormones oxytocin and dopamine are released when petting an animal. It also decreases the stress hormone cortisol. Pets help to reduce our stress and anxiety. Kelso and Hannah are a wonderful and positive distraction!
Oftentimes patients comment that they are missing their own pet who had to stay at home while they are visiting Mayo Clinic. Spending a little time with our therapy dogs provides some joy and comfort to someone who is missing their own pet. Pets are easy to communicate with, excellent listeners and promote socializing with other people. Furry friends can also serve as a varied focal point, making it easier to converse with others without the pressure of direct eye contact. Kelso and Hannah don't know what good ice breakers they are nor how much joy they provide.
Do you have a pet that provides you comfort?
Send an email to invite people you know to join the Cancer Education Center page.