Emergency Medicine: Dogs in the hospital help patients, staff relax

From the Dispatch:

Part of what helps me to decompress after work is going home to my family and my dog. The unconditional love from a pet makes everything better. I realized how much this affects me during a recent visit from a pet therapy dog in the emergency department.

OhioHealth has a program called Love on a Leash in which volunteers take their pets to visit patients and staff members.

Melissa, a hospital volunteer, brought her dog Lucy, a friendly yellow lab, to hang out with the hospital staff. Lucy came running up to me as soon as I put my hand out to greet her.

As I pet her and she licked my arms, I realized that my stress had vanished. I was relaxed, smiling and felt really happy. After a few minutes, I realized I had to get back to work and I watched as Lucy greeted my co-workers. I noticed that they wore the same smile and projected the same joy and sense of calm that I had.

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