The Healing Power of Animals
At Krause Funeral Homes, we have observed that every grief journey is unique. You may experience different feelings at different times than others in your own family who miss the same loved one. Of course, your approach to coping with feelings of sadness, despair, and loss is also unique. Here at Krause Funeral Homes, each member of our staff offers something unique in helping the families we serve to cope with loss.
Our grief therapy dog, Bennie, is beloved by many of the families who have shared their grief journey with us. Bennie is a certified therapy dog and a part of the Canine Good Citizen program. While his gifts may not be verbal, he spreads so much joy to adults and children alike.
Dogs have long been known to have calming effects on people – that’s why they’re often brought into nursing homes, hospitals, and schools. They also can be very in tune with people’s emotions. We are often asked, “How can they know what people need when mourning the loss of a loved one?”
The Krause team has observed that spending time with pets or therapy animals can reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. When Bennie greets the families we serve, his wagging tail and friendly face help people feel welcome and appreciated, even during a time of sadness.
Spending time with animals has also been linked to physical benefits such as reduced risk for heart disease, lower stress levels, lower cholesterol, and lower blood pressure. These physical benefits have a positive impact on you emotionally and socially.
During difficult times, we all appreciate unconditional affection. Of course, losing a loved one can be overwhelming, and it can take a very long time for you to begin to feeling like yourself again. Connecting with a trained animal like Bennie, who is conditioned to tune in to emotional distress, can help fill a void, even if you are struggling to talk about your feelings with other people.
Interaction with a friendly animal can also help calm people, combat depression, and fulfill emotional needs for security and companionship. Simply petting Bennie has helped some of the families we serve to feel more connected and relaxed. The comfortable presence of a pet creates a sense of intimacy and may help increase feelings of optimism and trust as you continue to remember and memorialize your loved one.