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Advice for Health and Happiness from a Therapy Dog

Updated on March 27, 2018
Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank wrote humorous bits for her college newspaper many years ago. Her funny observations have continued in print and online.

photo by Linda Gast, Petey's Human.
photo by Linda Gast, Petey's Human.

Petey's Doggone Good Advice

Petey was an exceptional Licensed Therapy Dog whose scentsable advice and personal example was an inspiration for both humans and pets. As a Therapist, he was always ready to offer health pointers.

by Petey

Being either a dog or a human can be lots of fun, but humans worry about way too many things. Politics and finances make people too stressed out. Live in the moment like a dog.

Diet and exercise are important, but these concerns take care of themselves if your mental state is right, and your owners give you the right food -- the yummy kind, that is also good for you.

photo by Linda Gast
photo by Linda Gast

Don't Overdo "On the Rocks"

I'll have to confess, though appropriate food has always been available for me, I made a few mistakes in my younger years by eating rocks.

I learned my lesson, and now always have a tennis ball with me when I go for a walk, so I am not tempted to slide back into bad dietary habits.

DIET TIPS

So my first bit of advice is to NOT eat junk food or rocks.

If you need a little crutch to remind you not to put junk in your body, stick a tennis ball in your mouth before going out the door. It works for me.

This works so well that people will not even ask you to go out to lunch with them.

Drink plenty of fresh clean water. Several buckets a day should keep you going strong. Whenever possible, drink out of a clean vessel.

Do not use the large porcelain container in the bathing room for drinking, even if the lid is up. I still have to be reminded about this, but my owners consider this a "drinking problem" and I don't really want to go that route.

EXERCISE

Move your tail. Even if you don't have a tail.

Get your whole mind and body into your daily workout. You will feel energized and happy if you make your exercise a game.

You will be surprised at what you can do after you've been at it for awhile.

Your enthusiasm will grow and you will have a buoyant outlook, and maybe a squeeky toy.

photo by Linda Gast
photo by Linda Gast

Volunteering and Mental Health

Volunteer your time for a good cause. Help out the high school students when they go out to clean litter from the highway.

Join a service club and look for opportunities. You will feel helpful and useful when you do something that is helpful and useful.

Getting involved in community activities is a great way to meet people and give yourself a sense of useful accomplishment.

There are plenty of ways to help . Sniff out something new, and get to work.

photo by Linda Gast
photo by Linda Gast

Make Someone Smile

Visiting people in the nursing home, makes them know they are not forgotten. I make them smile and they pet me. It's all good.

You will learn a lot from the elderly people and they will look forward to your visits.

Show interest in their conversations and be a good listener. Even if you don't know what they are saying, and even if they don't know what they are saying, you can both enjoy yourselves.

Many of them have had very interesting lives, and sometimes they have an extra bite of cake that they just can't finish themselves. It would be impolite to refuse.

photo by Linda Gast
photo by Linda Gast

Accept help from Someone

We all need a hand sometime.

Don't be embarrassed if someone babies you a bit when you just can't do it all.

When I had my knee surgery, I hated to miss my usual activities, so I was more than happy to accept a lift instead of walking.

People like to help you, as much as you like to help them.

Remember, it makes people happy when they can help you, too.

We all like to feel useful.

photo by Linda Gast
photo by Linda Gast

Be Nice to Everyone

It doesn't take much effort to be polite to everyone.

You can be courteous to all kinds of people, even if you don't really understand them.

People will act weird sometimes, but don't let that change the way you act toward them.

You can't always tell what is in their mind, or what they are going through. Your example may even be a great help in helping them to see how silly they really are being.

photo by Linda Gast
photo by Linda Gast

HYGIENE

Keep well groomed: Bathe regularly. Brush your teeth.

Clip your nails, get your coat brushed and keep your balls clean.

Use shampoo, insect repellent or deodorant.

It's not only about personal appearance; it's part of a healthy lifestyle.

photo by Linda Gast
photo by Linda Gast

Enjoy a Hobby

Using your hands (or paws) to make craft items like jewelry out of ordinary materials can be an enjoyable pastime .

Idle paws are the devil's playground. Make something useful and enjoy keeping busy.

Attractive pieces, such as this necklace, can be given as gifts, sold at craft fairs - or eaten.

Source

Write a Book

Expressing yourself is a great way to keep your thoughts sorted out, and leave a legacy for your pups, or another generation of dog owners.

You might even find that your personal, or doggeral, experiences and insights can help someone else and give them a new leash on life.

My advice booklet was sold by the local animal shelter as a fund-raising item.

I even had a book signing!

I'm famous -- everywhere I go, people say "Hi. Petey."

You never know where writing will take you.

Linda, Petey and Rochelle at the booksigning.
Linda, Petey and Rochelle at the booksigning.

Therapy dogs at the hospital.

Comments

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    • Rochelle Frank profile imageAUTHOR

      Rochelle Frank 

      6 years ago from California Gold Country

      He was a very special dog, who helped a lot of people and I hope he would have approved of the words I gave him. Thanks for commenting, jasper420.

    • profile image

      jasper420 

      6 years ago

      Very well put togeather well written and inspiering love this hub Im a pet lover so this realy touched me deeply such a uniqe and creative way to inspiere the world

    • Rochelle Frank profile imageAUTHOR

      Rochelle Frank 

      6 years ago from California Gold Country

      Thanks, Paradise 7. Petey the Therapy Dog was very inspiring.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 

      6 years ago from Upstate New York

      Way too cool for words! I love your sense of humour as well as your loving advice.

    • Rochelle Frank profile imageAUTHOR

      Rochelle Frank 

      7 years ago from California Gold Country

      I guess all dogs are special in some way, but Petey touched a lot of lives. Thanks, Patty.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish MS 

      7 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      I am sorry he is gone, but I am happy to have read about him.

    • Rochelle Frank profile imageAUTHOR

      Rochelle Frank 

      8 years ago from California Gold Country

      Thank you, the thought of Petey is inspiring.

    • Ms Chievous profile image

      Tina 

      8 years ago from Wv

      Good Hub Petey!! (and Rochelle) :)

    • Rochelle Frank profile imageAUTHOR

      Rochelle Frank 

      8 years ago from California Gold Country

      Sorry to report that Petey, has come to the end of his days after struggling with some of the ailments of old dog age.

      His owners are very sad, but they know he gave a lot of happiness to many, many people. He was the epitome of 'good dog' and a true friend of everyone he met.

    • Rochelle Frank profile imageAUTHOR

      Rochelle Frank 

      10 years ago from California Gold Country

      Petey is my good friend's dog. I met both of them shortly before he was tested for his therapy license. He was adopted from a shelter-- someone rescued him from a creek as a young dog. He seems to have always had a mellow temprement, but I'm not sure how much training he needed. I was there when he passed the therapy test.

      Petey's owner is a photographer. I personally have her permission to use the photos for this hub, but they are not posted for general use.

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 

      10 years ago

      Petey is such a talented dog! I have my dogs trained to write hubs for me, but they still aren't very good at writing books :) I also can't imagine them being therapy dogs. How long did it take you to train Petey to become a therapy dog?

      Also the photographs are awesome. Are any of them shared on Flickr or some other similar service?

    • Rochelle Frank profile imageAUTHOR

      Rochelle Frank 

      10 years ago from California Gold Country

      That is a wonderful story.

      I have personally seen the magical effect Petey has on the people who can no longer care for a pet of their own. This dog-- who is getting on in years himself, is wonderful medicine. He now goes-- leashless-- from room to room to visit 'his' people.

      My friend (his owner) has been very faithful in making regular visits possible.

    • Lissie profile image

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 

      10 years ago from New Zealand

      When my mum was in a hospice I took her labrador, Brandy up to visit. Brandy was a boisterous, large dog, with ADD, still a puppy at 12 at the time. The moment he entered the hospice - he was gentle calm, didn't jump on any beds (miracle). Mum reacted to him even though she was pretty far gone. I took him a few times and the staff (who had had to persuade me to bring him cause I knew how badly behaved he was) asked him to visit the other wards - where he was model dog with strangers -not jumping on them or anything. Dogs know and I have supported threapy dog charities ever since!

    • Rochelle Frank profile imageAUTHOR

      Rochelle Frank 

      10 years ago from California Gold Country

      Sometimes we can learn from those who have no words to share. My friend's dog, Petey, is a treasure.

      My own personal dog is still a bit of a work-in-progress-- I had to interrupt writing this message to get her out of the trash can.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Rochelle! This is a super great hub. What would we do without our best friends? Thumbs up. regards Zsuzsy

    • agvulpes profile image

      Peter 

      10 years ago from Australia

      Very topical Hub, on our TV news last night an item where a Companion Dog saved his companions life (He had collapsed) by picking up his mobile phone from the floor, his teeth activating a key which alerted our "OOO" that there was a problem.

    • Rochelle Frank profile imageAUTHOR

      Rochelle Frank 

      10 years ago from California Gold Country

      Thanks agvulpes, glad to hear you are looking after yourself and your exercise equipment.

      And thanks Dottie1, Petey doesn't do dishes, though he offers to do the prewash.

      Petey thanks all of you too. His owner, Linda, says he was pleased with the article.

    • Dottie1 profile image

      Dottie1 

      10 years ago from MA, USA

      Oh thanks Petey and Rochelle. great hub! Best hubmob health hub yet, IMO! Loved Petey at the sink, looks like he's doing the dishes and so proud of himself at book signing. Thumbs up and a click, shhh.

    • agvulpes profile image

      Peter 

      10 years ago from Australia

      G'day Rochelle,

      "Keep well groomed: Bathe regularly. Brush your teeth.

      Clip your nails and keep your balls clean. Use shampoo, insect repellent or deodorant.

      It's not only about personal appearance; it's part of a healthy lifestyle."

      I follow this habit myself quite regularly.

      Nice Hub.

    • Rochelle Frank profile imageAUTHOR

      Rochelle Frank 

      10 years ago from California Gold Country

      Thanks, HubMobgodfather. (Have you created a monster here?)

    • Ryan Hupfer profile image

      Ryan Hupfer 

      10 years ago from San Francisco, CA

      You are a great HubMobster! I love the photos :)

    • desert blondie profile image

      desert blondie 

      10 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen

      Adored this ! My dogs shelter rescue sweeties as well, but not as smart as Petey!

    • Rochelle Frank profile imageAUTHOR

      Rochelle Frank 

      10 years ago from California Gold Country

      He's a very sweet dog-- a shelter rescued dog, too.

    • Bob Ewing profile image

      Bob Ewing 

      10 years ago from New Brunswick

      Petey's one smart dog.

    • Rochelle Frank profile imageAUTHOR

      Rochelle Frank 

      10 years ago from California Gold Country

      Thank you Patty, Storrytellers, and jupitar.

      The hub logo can be pulled out of the forum posting about the hubmobs-- probably can even be pulled of of this one. Then just use it in a photo capsule like any other graphic.

    • profile image

      jupitar 

      10 years ago

      good tips by Petey.

      good hub Rochelle Frank.

    • Storytellersrus profile image

      Barbara 

      10 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      I love this Hub!  It made me smile and it made me tear up a bit, too.  I give you a thumbs up on this one- and where did you get that cool feather HUBMOB logo???

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish MS 

      10 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Therapy dogs are heroes! The retirement complex across the way from me has one and she is good to everyone, includng th emailman and visitors. This is especially true during the black outs here at the tail end of Hurricane Ike. People are not scared with her around,

      Nice Hub.

      Patty

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