Thursday, 23 October 2008

Canine Charter for Human Health: Recovering from depression and increasing health and happiness

Yesterday, I told you about the nine-point Canine Charter for Human Health, which states the health benefits that come from dog ownership. Here are two cases studies that show just how valuable having a canine companion can be.

Charter Points 2, 3 and 8: Trish Dempsey & Mrs Blossom Willoughby (recovery from depression)

Described as “9kg of love wrapped up in fur” it is fair to say that Mrs Blossom Willoughby has brought much-needed joy into her owner’s life.

Having suffered bereavement, depression and a nervous breakdown, Trish Dempsey’s life was in turmoil. Desperate for some brightness in the gloom, Trish visited Dogs Trust Kenilworth - and when she spotted Blossom it was love at first sight!

Blossom had been rehomed a number of times but had never settled happily in a home. All that changed, however, in July 2006, when Blossom came home with Trish for good:
“Two years on, and I can honestly say Mrs Blossom Willoughby saved my life. As soon as she came home, I had someone to live for. Thanks to her, I am back at work, back in full health and enjoying life. Most importantly, this wonderful little dog has a secure and loving home for the rest of her life.”

Charter Point 4: Margo Giles & Rueben (health & happiness)

Margo Giles recently turned 74 and having lost her perfect little dog of twelve years was afraid that without a dog she might turn into a couch potato. Margo perused the mug shots on the Dogs Trust website and came across Rueben, an 18-month old Collie Cross Lurcher; perhaps, on paper, not the best choice for an older person.

Rueben was so full of pent up energy that Margo never ceased walking from about 6.30am till bed time. The one thing older people have to give a homeless dog is time according to Margo, and she devoted all of hers to him.

Now, six months on, with time and patience, it has proved to be a perfect match -Rueben’s happiness levels are off the scale and Margo says she is fitter than she has ever been:
“I am fortunate that I've always enjoyed good health, I don't see my doctor very often. My blood pressure is perfect, cholesterol good and my weight which hovers around 11st is now, since the advent of Rueben 10st 7lbs. The only thing I have is dodgy knees, which are two years past their sell by date, so I aim with Rueben’s help to loose another 7lbs before I have my first new knee. After my previous little dog died I was so afraid of becoming a couch potato which without the need to walk and dodgy knees could have happened and which would have reduced my fitness.

“There are a vast number of dogs of all ages and sizes needing homes, if all old people were to visit a dogs home instead of their GP and issued with a dog like Rueben I'm pretty sure there would be a lot of healthier pensioners about, no obesity and no need to worry about the rising cost of heating - there's no time to get cold!”

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