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A powerful moment earlier this morning I just have to share. Cheyenne was well into her "love roll" with the nursing students (see pic and cute caption) while a woman seated off in a corner softly spoke into her phone. Cheyenne quickly scrambled to her feet, padded over to the woman and joined her on the couch. The nursing students returned to class and she explained that her mother suffered a stroke last night and that the prognosis was grim. The tears began to flow as her fingers disappeared into Cheyenne's snowy mane. We sat with her while she called her children to tell them of the sad news. One hand on her phone...the other on Cheyenne. — Tim McHenry
Cholula, a child’s friend in personal finance
Cholula the hamster was adopted from an accidental litter. The way Cholula started having a YouTube channel was quite an accident as well.
Cholula had quite a mundane career initially, his day comprised of just eating, sleeping and being cute. One day, I was doing some filming work and I brought Cholula to be with me. My friend was the videographer, and he also teaches videography and editing to children in underserved communities. I volunteer with my friend's organization, though I do not have much interaction with the children as I am quite awkward around them.
The children were supposed to learn filming from my friend but were too enthralled with Cholula and wanted to play with him instead! "Your hamster took the attention away from me," my friend joked. “However, I realised when they were with your hamster, they did not play or look at their mobile phones."
Then I had an idea. What if the children could follow Cholula on YouTube to learn something useful? I work in finance and thought Cholula and I could work together. Thus, the Professor Hamwealth channel was born. Cholula and I do short 1 min videos explaining difficult financial concepts so that the children are able to learn how to manage money, and hopefully escape the poverty cycle.
Cholula has the gentlest nature ever. Most people are surprised to find out that he does not nip, even if a stranger puts their hand in Cholula's cage. This makes him perfect for interacting with children and being their educator-therapist. Often, I try to bring Cholula to my friend's premises and motivate the children in their schoolwork, as well as teach them basic pet care and empathy. With Cholula, the children also grew closer to me. Now they are excited to see me because it means they get to play with Cholula! It's amazing what a little hamster can do, and Cholula hopes he manages to help all the hoomans he has and has not yet met!
— Low Wei Ling
I own a Pilates studio in Lancaster, CA and my dogs like to greet my clients when they come in. My clients get puppy kisses throughout class and they want me to name my studio to Pup-n-Pilates because it’s where they get their Pilates and pup therapy. — Tammy Jackson, MoreCorePilatesAV
Sam and I were a pet therapy team for 7 years and saw firsthand how impactful therapy animals can be helping patients as they recover from illness. He always approached everyone like they absolutely needed his special kind of attention/help.
This image exemplifies his connection to people. If one picture is worth a thousand words, this image exemplifies that adage. The language of dogs is spoken ever so softly and is quite subtle. But when you actually listen...oh my, the rewards are beyond 'pawsome.' Sam was meant to bring joy and happiness to all those he met. — Monika, from Tails Around the Ranch
In 2009, my kids got the flu, then I got the flu, then they got better, and I didn’t. I landed in the hospital with pneumonia.
Around day 4 in the hospital, the infectious disease specialists came in because I was not responding to treatment. That same day (I think, though I couldn’t be sure because I had a pretty high fever), a woman showed up at my hospital room door and asked if I wanted a visit from a dog.
“A dog? Of course!”
She spread a clean sheet on my bed and up jumped Max. We visited for a few minutes then Max left with his handler to visit another patient. Boy did that visit lift my spirits.
The next day, I turned the corner and was released from the hospital a few days later. Granted, they also switched my antibiotics which I do not discount as a primary reason for my turnaround, but I do believe that the dog visit had a massive impact on my emotional state which impacts our physical state.
After that hospital stay, I became a Certified Humane Education Specialist. — Diane Rose-Solomon
Bobby, my Cockroach-Slayer, my Hero, and Patient Playmate. When I was 7 years old, I was in an accident and had to have a cast over my legs making me temporarily bedridden. It was a stormy night. My dad was returning home from his shift duty and Bobby, my doggo friend was locked outside our house. Usually, on rainy nights, the cockroaches in our old townhouse would come crawling out from their flooded crevices. I was terrified of them!
That night they were flying in the air above my bed in the back room, and I couldn’t move. I was screaming at them at the top of my lungs. At about 12 am, Dad came home. He unlocked the front door and came running to my bedroom. Bobby was just ahead of him, and he began jumping on his 2 hind feet to snap at the cockroaches. There were about 7 to 8 of them. Bobby caught a few and vomited them out in disgust but he kept trying to take them out. Oh, he must have known how terrified I must have been! Truly my hero.
This was many years ago and any photos we had of Bobby were lost during a move. For more than 10 years I have been scouring the Internet for my Bobby lookalike. The photo here is an image of a Golden Retriever mixed breed, though this dog has longer fur. I see the sweet-faced looks of Bobby, who may be pretty but who was not a pushover. Bobby had been our family's protector, a resourceful survivor, an Alpha-dog, a warrior. To modern people, the latter trait might seem to be unacceptable for a family dog, but at a lonely childhood like mine, I had needed a hero and Bobby was one to me. I will always treasure this lookalike image of Bobby, my companion and BFF.
— Priscilla T., PetPrissy.com
At age 9 I lost a pet in a tragic accident which left me unmoored in a troubled childhood. I longed for the love of a pet and never wanted anyone to feel that kind of heartbreak. In 2016 I founded Saving Gracie. Our mission is to provide grants to families who cannot afford emergency veterinary care thus avoiding economic euthanasia. Although my loss could not have been prevented, with a grant many losses can be prevented.
Saving Gracie contributes to the cost of emergency veterinary services. We are healing human hearts and the pets who love them. Studies prove what pet owners already know. Pets provide health benefits to persons with post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, autism, heart conditions and more. Especially now during the pandemic we have saved pets that were the only companion of senior citizens who have been isolated. I can’t imagine what these vulnerable people would have gone through had they lost their pet and had to shelter in place alone. It has been the great privilege of my life to support humans and their pets. We have helped United States veterans, children with autism, seniors, and disabled and active-duty US military. For more information you can visit our website at www.saving-gracie.org — Lisa Hilas, Executive director
I have always been an animal lover and often foster puppies and kittens with my local shelter. A few months ago I agreed to foster three puppies approximately 2 months old that needed socialization. This was a major understatement. Two of the three puppies were terrified. One would poop whenever she was scared and the other would scream plus he also had a broken leg no one told me about.
What I thought would be a short term socialization foster turned into a double foster failure! One pup was adopted but the other two were not. The little boy ended up having to have his broken leg amputated but he is fearless! The little girl is still quite skittish with new people and situations but both of them are just like any other happy puppies now. Their trust and kindness is overwhelming. I feel so privledged to get to watch them blossom. — Michelle Tinkham
Ambassador Sage is a wolfdog who has spent her life educating the public that there's no such thing as a big bad wolf, as Sage is also an emotional support animal to her human. Sage is a working Ambassador who works with disabled adults and children, Sage makes hospice calls and performs hospital work bringing peace love and healing to all she meets. Sage has also been featured in music videos and print work but most importantly Sage has impacted 1000's of people along her journey with her presence and love and the ancient bond of human and wolf. — Lori Wynn, Guardians of the Wolves
Bigsy came into my life at the beginning of a very hard time for me. He had just come off of 6 months in the SPCA shelter, isolated with his bonded brother, hissing and untouchable. It didn't take long though for him to trust me and we have been best friends ever since. We saved each other. — Mandy Lambert
Submit Your Human-Animal Bond Story
Do you have a story you would like to share? It could be about how your pet, a service or emotional support animal positively affects your daily life. Or maybe you are a volunteer, professional or beneficiary of therapy animal visits. Are you a veterinarian or healthcare professional? Do you work in animal rescue or humane education?
Whatever your human-animal bond story is, we invite you to share it here.
Submit a photo with a caption. (Please make sure the caption explains how this animal has helped you or another person or people.)
Submit your story — up to 300 words. (We may lightly edit and/or revise. Please include a photo.)
Submit a video story. (Videos must be under one minute long. You are welcome to include a brief text caption as well.)
You must own the rights to your photo, story or video.
If you have a longer Human-Animal Bond story to share, please reach out to us here for the opportunity to be featured as a guest on our blog or to be interviewed by Diane.
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