Most of us have had a pet in our lives at one time or another and know the bonds that form between them and their pet. We can have a horrible day where nothing seemed to go right and the moment we open the door and see our beloved pet wagging their tails or purring and rubbing up against us, the stress of the day seems to immediately begin to ease.
While I was going to school for my Associates degree in Nursing, I was working as an LPN in a nursing home. At the time, this nursing home utilized pet therapy on occasion and I can remember this beautiful, older golden retriever being brought into the day room and every single resident responded with such happiness. All of them eagerly awaited their time to interact with the dog as he went from resident to resident wagging his tail in delight. It was pure joy for these residents as well as the staff observing this memorable moment. I couldn’t help but feel my own happiness and joy watching them and even I was excited to say my own hello’s to this magnificent dog. The part of this day however, that stands out most in my mind was this one particular resident, her name was Joan. Joan very rarely came out of her room. Each day she would get up, get dressed, and would watch TV or read. She rarely interacted with the other residents or engaged in conversation with the staff. She kept herself and room meticulous but mostly kept to herself. She was always polite, but never said more than she felt necessary, didn’t receive many visitors and mainly kept to herself. I remember walking behind the dog and his owner in the hallway as they passed her room I glanced in and saw her face. Joan had a slight smile and her eyes seemed to light up. I asked the owner and the dog to come say hello to Joan as Joan was wheeling herself out of her room. Her smile grew bigger as the dog came closer and she began petting him. Finally, something to put a smile on this woman’s face! Joan was gushing over...