The past few years have been tough and dogs have been a comforting outlet
Dianna Green, Director of Clinical Operations at Health First at the Holmes Regional Medical Center, with Health First Facility Service Dog Paco. The past few years have been tough, Dianna says, and dogs have been a comforting outlet physically, emotionally, mentally, and even socially. (Health First picture)
Dogs provide life-saving comforts to many of us when it comes to reducing the loneliness, stress, and everyday anxiety that we continue to face during the pandemic.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Our four-legged best friends are more than just animals. They are a family with whom we share a magical relationship in good, bad, and difficult times – especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pets, primarily dogs, reach our hearts like no other. Sure, they bring us joy and baggy greetings at times, but it’s more than that.
The past few years have been tough and dogs have been a comforting outlet, be it physically, emotionally, mentally, and even socially.
Dianna Green has seen this impact firsthand. She is the Health First Director of Clinical Operations at the Holmes Regional Medical Center and also serves as one of our dog handlers. It is sheer astonishment to see how positive Paco affects the interaction with patients.
“Watching Paco, the Health Firsts Facility Service Dog, with patients was magical,” said Green.
“It doesn’t matter if Paco enters a patient’s room, the whole room gets a different atmosphere. Everyone in the room immediately lifted their mood. “
Health First service dogs bring joy to patients and employees. Here the laboratory manager Gail Buckmiller visits Lana and Jammer with Paco and the other service dogs of the facility. (Health first image)
It’s the power of pets. According to News in Health, they’ve helped lower stress and blood pressure, improve heart health, and even help children with their emotional and social skills. Studies have also shown that animals can reduce loneliness, increase feelings of social support, and improve overall mood.
And it’s not just patients – our employees are also happy to see Paco in each of our four hospitals. The brief interaction pales in comparison to the unconditional love it offers when it comes to sharing smiles and relieving stress.
Unlike us, dogs cannot sense COVID-19. However, you can understand when someone is feeling down, stressed, and afraid. And when that happens it’s a full assault with cuddles, comfort, and sweet gestures full of sweetness and relief.
“The person may not even realize how stressed they are until this cold, tail-wagging, four-legged fur baby cuddles up to you with unconditional love,” said Green. “I’ve seen Paco approach a person unnoticed and gently put his feet on the person’s feet to offer comfort when they have a stressful day.”
Because of these benefits and unconditional love, our dogs and other animals are vital in giving us hope for a better future. And when things get a little clearer, it’s always nice to have companionship and persistence along the way.
“It’s simple, unconditional love,” said Green. “Love is a basic need and dogs help fill the void.”
Health First’s service dogs, Lana, Jammer, and Paco, are used to provide joy, comfort, and entertainment to the patients they interact with. (Health First picture)