Parents with sick children experience a struggle and pain every day that no one should ever have to go through or feel. Watching people suffer in any way is heartbreaking, especially when it’s your own family member. Oftentimes, we feel helpless, like there’s nothing we can do to deter their pain.
One thing that’s well-known to help people in these situations are therapy dogs! Therapy dogs are specially trained to help comfort people during stressful times, and bring them hope, courage and solace.
April Rock’s seven-year-old son, Jonah, is sick in a pediatric intensive care unit, and rarely ever communicates. But when six-year-old therapy dog named Fin jumped onto his hospital bed, the boy signed the word “dog” into his mother’s hand. It brought her to tears as it was only the third time that Rock has seen her son sign something.
“Doggy,” she tearfully repeated. “That’s right.”
There are therapy dogs like Fin who visit hospitals, courtrooms, schools, nursing homes, airports, planes, and any other stressful environments where people might need some extra emotional support. Multiple studies confirm that animals can help reduce anxiety and stress, and even provide other physical benefits, like improved heart and cardiovascular health.
Therapy dogs are particularly useful in a hospital environment, where these emotional creatures offer a calm, comforting bedside manner that instantly puts patients at ease. But Fin knew Jonah wasn’t the only one in need of his services that day. After comforting the sick boy with cuddles and doggie kisses, Fin instinctively knew he needed to help the sick boy’s mother, April, feel better too.
We hope this sweet boy feels better soon! We’re so glad Fin was able to stop by during Jonah’s hospital stay because, as you can see in the video below, dogs just have a way of making life’s biggest challenges feel more bearable.
Watch the emotional moment between Jonah and Fin in the video below:
Growing up, Ashley always had a passion for writing. After receiving her Bachelor's in Journalism from Stony Brook University, she now uses that passion to write about the thing she loves most in this world: animals! When she isn't writing, you can find her curled up on the couch with a kindle in her hands and her Guinea Pigs on her lap.