Dogs have a long-standing history of providing companionship and showing unconditional love for humans. This creates an emotional bond that has a very positive effect. Petting and cuddling can help reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure, ease depression, improve cardiovascular health, release endorphins, improve communication, provide peace and comfort to those that are terminally ill, lonely or grieving. Angels Grace Hospice Pet Therapy Program is an invaluable part of the hospice services we provide.
Our Pet Therapy Program at Angels Grace Hospice is a guided interaction with our therapy dogs, Mizuno and Gracie, and their owner, Joe. Together they work as a team to improve the lives of our patients. These loyal animals are one of the best sources of comfort for any human – including hospice patients and their families.
Meet Our Hospice Pet Therapy Program Team
Our growing Pet Therapy Team includes Mizuno, an Old English Sheep Dog, and his “sister,” Gracie, an eight month old energetic Bernese Mountain Dog Poodle Mix. They get along like champions. Mizuno has so many admirers and is so loved by everyone. His innate ability to calm others with his heartfelt presence is truly remarkable to witness how people respond to him. Mizuno has been working with Angels Grace Hospice for the past 4 years. He is trained to provide comfort and affections to people in hospitals, hospice, retirement homes, schools, mental health institutions, airports and many other settings. Mizuno loves his job and taking long drives. His sister, Gracie, is currently in Pet Therapy Training so she can take over Mizuno’s job at Angels Grace Hospice.
When Mizuno visits a facility or nursing home, he brings so much joy to the residents. Our furry visitor helps bring back happy memories of playing with their dogs growing up and brings peace and comfort to our patients. The warmth of touch is very important because it helps reduce anxiety and improves their mood as they sit calmly and acts as a listener or quiet friend.
As our world deals with COVID-19, our Pet Therapy Team is taking measures to help prevent the spread of the virus. Unfortunately, we are not allowed in facilities but working on home visits, when requested. While nothing can replace the impact of visiting with a therapy animal in person, the power of the human-animal bond exceeds any single circumstance. When Pet Therapy programming isn’t available, there are still creative ways in which animals can positively influence our patient’s heath and wellness. We keep our Pet Therapy Team in good health by sanitizing their collars, keeping our distance, virtual visits and daily social media posts. Check us out on social media for a weekly check in with our pups!
Angels Grace Hospice provides a customized care plan to meet the specific needs of patients. We provide comfort care in your home, hospital, nursing home or assisted-living facility depending on your individual circumstances. Contact us with any questions and for further assistance with your end of life care options.