Surviving Spouse Corner: The Benefits of a Canine Companion

Surviving Spouse Corner: The Benefits of a Canine Companion
Photo by Bread and Butter Productions via Getty Images

By Georgie Suitor, Surviving Spouse Advisory Council member


“For me, a house or an apartment becomes a home when you add one set of four legs, a happy tail, and that indescribable measure of love we call a dog," said Roger Caras, president emeritus of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.


I couldn’t agree more. Dogs truly are loving, protective, understanding canine members of our families. Science tells us dogs feel our moods and bring comfort when needed, as well as great amounts of humor and wonder.


For seriously wounded members of the military, a dedicated companion dog can help with the healing and recovery process. Because each of these specially trained canines is able to read human body language, there is a dedication to meeting physical and emotional needs, while forming trusted relationships and achieving a sense of human independence.


As a strong advocate of rescued pet adoption, for the past three years, I have had the joy of having Shih Tzu rescue brother and sister, Tye and Sadie, as members of my family. While sheltering in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, Tye and Sadie have kept me active with four walks a day and laughing, and I think they are quite happy to have me at home — most of the time.


Read past Surviving Spouse Corners.


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