BELLA'S GOOD DEEDS

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Bella's Good Deeds Bella came to B.O.N.E.S. needing a new home. She had been greatly loved, but needed special attention to learn house training and overcome some fears. Loving, very smart, and having lots of energy, she made good progress while being fostered.

She was adopted by Vic and Nancy, who volunteer at hospitals, elderly centers, and schools. Bella showed her smarts by passing a series of training classes. She achieved Pet Therapy certification in 2016. Vic and Nancy will share stories about their experiences with Bella on this page.

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November, 2018: Bella's Confession

Bella's Good Deeds - November, 2018: Bella's Confession Research says that pets can relieve pain. Adults who spend five to fifteen minutes with dogs after joint replacement require less pain medication.

Pet therapy for seniors has been shown to improve social skills, appetite, brain simulation, and tactile activity. Seniors who own pets, especially dogs, seek medical help thirty percent less often, possibly due to the reduction in stress.

I can't profess that I knew any of this, or that those benefits actually played any role in my becoming a pet therapy dog and visiting hospitals weekly. No one ever shared that they were taking a lesser number of pills, eating more, feeling calmer, or being friendlier.

I can tell you that hospital patients and employees, seniors, children, or anyone I meet express their joy and satisfaction when we spend a few moments together. I can both hear it in their words and tone of voice. I feel it when they caress, hug, or kiss.

I can share how much it really means to me and how satisfied I feel when time is spent with others who are need of a pick-me-up, or a break from work or the pain. I also see and hear the pride that my owners display – they routinely boast about the good work we do.

Bella's Good Deeds - November, 2018: Bella's ConfessionI can't express how content and satisfied I've been over the past month because I have done "my thing" in my own home with a person who means a great deal to me. Nancy had a full knee replacement and has been recuperating at home since October 2. She's the person who really takes care of me when I'm under the weather, plays ball with me in the house, gives an extra-large treat, and takes me to my favorite seaside benches. It was my time to return the love.

So, I naturally extended the length of the hugs I allowed, snuggled a little closer on the couch, and observed and assisted with each step in the rehabilitation process. I didn't allow her walker or cane to alarm me or get in the way. I didn't scamper ahead when the pace was too slow. I greeted the visiting nurse, as well as the physical and occupational therapists, in a calm manner. I quickly surmised their good intent (with my nose of course)! I monitored the exercise routine and never, not even once, was tempted to pounce on that dropped pill or play with those extraordinarily-tantalizing, long, white TED (thrombo-embolic deterrent - ed.) stockings.

I've been involved in each step of the rehab process: rest time in the recliner or on the couch, exercises on the bed, icing and elevation, and now walks in the neighborhood or at a favorite local spot. We have done so well that Nancy is ahead of schedule, has begun outpatient physical therapy, and has been encouraged to take car rides or go out to eat or see a movie. I've escorted a few car rides but I have recognized they do need to get away without me.

I can share with you that while alone, I contemplate how I am really more tired and yearn for some additional "me" time. However, I'm more content and satisfied that I'm serving my purpose with a person who is extremely dear to me. The job is not completed, but I am confident in my skills. We will reach the finish line.

Bella's Good Deeds - November, 2018: Bella's ConfessionGood Citizen Dog - Yes. Pet Therapy Dog - yes, but now and more importantly, BEST FRIEND! It's who we are and what we do. I'm sure you understand.

Sincerely,

Bella