I was going through some boxes in my garage looking for pictures today and I came across one of myself with a very special dog from a year ago when we first moved to Coronado. A few months after we moved here I had a medical issue that sent me to the emergency room at Sharp Coronado Hospital for most of the day. It was bad timing because my husband was out of town on business and I still had one child at home so I had to rely on a friend I didn't know very well to take my toddler for the entire day. Not one of the top ten days of my life.
Halfway through the day as I was nervous and still not sure what was going on with me, I hear a knock on my ER door. As I told them to come in, who do I see but a big Bearded Collie dog, with a San Diego Chargers outfit and visor on. His name was Traveler. He came right over to my bedside and his trainer asked him to lean his chin on the bed so I could reach over to pat him. I had spent a lot of hours in pretty decent pain but the minute that sweet dog rested his chin on my bed and I could pat him, my blood pressure slowed down, my heart wasn't racing quite so fast and I truly forgot how uncomfortable I was at that moment. I couldn't believe how the simple act of interacting with an animal could do that for someone.
I'm so grateful that Sharp Coronado Hospital has a program like this and I hope that someday every hospital will incorporate using animals into managing patients pain or at least making them forget their situation for a short while. It truly does work!
If you are interested in checking out Traveler, I found a short clip at this link:http://www.sharp.com/video/transcripts/the-planetree-experience-at-sharp-coronado-transcript.cfm
Scroll ahead to minutes 5:25-5:52 so you don't have to watch the entire 7 minute video- he's worth checking out. :-)
In Good Health,