Can pets provide good therapy for an elderly person?

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I am a dog lover, and we recently lost our little girl, she was just days before turning 2 when she wondered off and got hit. This was back in October, I think. Now it is 2008 and a family member suggested we get another pupppy, that it would "fill the gap" or be good therapy for my recovering husband. As much as I would absolutely love to get one, right now, I feel as though that would add to my responsibilities and duties. I am new to this caregiving and am planning on moving. When we move into an apartment, it usually costs anywhere from $50 to $750 to $1000 to have a pet at some of these places! Some take payments and some do not. I think a puppy who loves to be mischief or investigative might not be good right now. However, if later we can handle one, we will surely get one.

Answers 1 to 4 of 4
I tried for years to get my husband to agree to getting a puppy. When he started to get sick, I caught him at a weak moment and said, "Let's just look..." Needless to say, "just looking" never happens with adorable pups! That was 6 years ago now and I can not tell you how that dog has helped him with the issues of his illness. The dog provides companionship and comfort and even senses when he will have a siezure. Wild horses couldn't drag that dog away. I know puppy training is tough. But perhaps a rescue dog that is a year or two old and trained would make sense.
I would love to get another dog, but I don't think my husband is healed from the loss of our little girl just this past October. I still get choked up over her when I talk about her. Anyway, taking the plunge and getting a special member of the family has turned out great for you and your loved one. I think they bring with them that special love that is unconditional. Sometimes, we humans don't have that kind of love. Puppy training brings out the patience in us and we, or I tend to over look it, with a gentle no no and that is good. Well, have fun and continue filling us in on all the joys of your puppy along with the progress of your loved one!
I am sorry to hear about your loss. I wonder though if a puppy is the only choice.
maybe a mature rescue dog might be an option. I have a dog (or rather an 8 year old puppy) who is probably one the reasons I can handle things that would otherwise be too hard. I am single, and care for my mom who has hear disease with Atrial Fibrilation, dementia and now diverticulosis....scary since she is also on blood thinner for the A-Fib. My dog who is a rescue mixed breed has become a partner in my mothers care. She instinctively knows the right thing to do all of the time. As my mother uses a walker, my dog actually escorts her - or as I joke with my mom our dog is the "snooper-viser" (ok - maybe its dumb, but anything that gets a laugh at my house is good)
I truly believe my mom is more engaged and I am happier because of my dog. I hope whether you get a new puppy or maybe find a rescue or shelter dog that wins your heart that your dog will be a comfort and bring some joy to your house.

as caregivers we don't get much - but hugging my dog sometimes is the difference between feeling sad & just dealing with what is. Dogs don't whine about what was - they just wag their tail and love you. can't get better than that for me or my mom.
Would a cat -a mature calm one be possible. My husband wanted another dog, we had 3 and each lived 12 or so years and I got a cat while he was in rehab and it took a while but he did take to the cat and at first they barely tolarated each other but finally became friends and a cat was easier on me because he is not able to take care of even my hermit crabs let alone a cat or dog.

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