View Full Version : Greyhound therapy help for cardiac patients in hospital

09-25-2011, 12:38 PM
Greyhound helps cardiac patients (http://http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2011/09/23/health-watch-gypsy-the-greyhound-helps-cardiac-patients/)

Go to link and check out the video. Gypsy is a beautiful fawn greyhound.

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Dogs have been used for years to cheer up patients at hospitals and nursing homes, distracting them from their health issues. But can a therapy dog help heart failure patients get stronger? That’s what some South Jersey Healthcare nurses wanted to know.

Gypsy the greyhound is a sleek speed machine. She just doesn’t know it, says her owner, Sami Abate, RN.
“She raced for four and a half years in Florida and Alabama and never won once,” laughed Abate. Now Gypsy is on a track more her speed. She’s a therapy dog at South Jersey Healthcare Regional Medical Center doing what they call canine-assisted ambulation, or walking with a dog. On this day, she was walking with Lillian Bishop the day after her surgery.

“It gives you more courage, I guess, makes you feel better,” said Bishop.
Walking improves circulation, improves cardiac function, and gets patients out of the hospital faster. Research by South Jersey Healthcare nurses published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing shows walking with a dog, even just once, makes an even bigger difference.

Abate said, “Our research found that a significant number of patients that initially refuse to walk with an aide alone would agree to walk when offered the chance to walk with a therapy dog.”

“I think the most surprising thing was that people did not realize they were walking as far as they were,” said Bruce Boxer, director of nursing quality at South Jersey Healthcare.


09-25-2011, 01:12 PM
There is something about dogs that generally improve the human condition. It might be genetic. Primitive man that had canine companions lived longer than those who rejected those companions. Now we are genetically linked, programmed by DNA to respond positively to the presence of a dog.

09-25-2011, 02:10 PM
There is something about dogs that generally improve the human condition. It might be genetic. Primitive man that had canine companions lived longer than those who rejected those companions. Now we are genetically linked, programmed by DNA to respond positively to the presence of a dog.

SR and I used to take our greyhounds to a nursing home in St Louis once a month. The patients there (the ones who loved animals) were so happy to see them. They'd tell tales of their pets or those of their kids. The ones who didn't want to pet the dogs seemed almost universally to be the ones who had a bad attitude toward life and were really grouchy. Being a resident in a nursing home isn't wonderful, to say the least, but the ones who were so eager to pat the pups seemed to make the best of what was their reality.

I noticed the same correlation when I headed a program with the St Louis Zoo, Then and Now, which brought a slide show of the modern zoo with how it was years ago. We also brought some animals from the Children's Zoo. The ones who made a face and yelled to keep the animals away were the universally grouchy ones.

09-25-2011, 02:25 PM
My mom has a greyhound and a poodle. Cuddling the poodle is entertaining and animated with lots of kisses. Petting or hugging the greyhound is therapeutic, restful, and dignified. Cuddling a Rottweiler is like play with a small pony who thinks she's a poodle.

But when the greyhound steps on your bare foot, you know she's a big dog after all.

09-26-2011, 10:14 AM
The hospital (not a nursing home but a hospital) that my husband was in had 50 working dogs and wanted to increase the staff to 100. They were so cute, with their little badges around their necks. They had many tasks, picking up things that were dropped, alerting a nurse to distress BEFORE such distress registered on the monitoring equipment. As well as spreading good will and cheer.

I knew a couple who trained dogs to help the blind. Not all dogs make it. Most of them wash out for one reason or other. They had a German Shepard bitch who looked promising except that she had an OCD disorder. No matter what she was supposed to be doing, she would abandon that if something (in her opinon) was out of place. She would leave her charge to pick up trash on the street. Instead of staying with the companion person, she wandered around the house picking up things she thought shouldn't be on the floor and putting them where she THOUGHT they should be. A towel might end up in the trash, a dropped tissue hidden in the closet. She got extra training but her habits could NOT be broken. In all ways she was a loving and very gentle dog who simply wanted to spend her life "cleaning up". She washed out to great disappointment. A nice home would be found for her where she wasn't a helper dog.

Not quite. She was sold to a pre-school. She very quickly was able to be trained as to the proper place for things to go. There wasn't ever a block out of place, a lego left out of the box, a crayon forgotten in the corner. Not to mention, a watchful eye that was never distracted.

09-26-2011, 10:39 PM
We have dogs at the hospital....a few of the staff members here take the dogs home..Sort of like a police dog, but for hospitals...They are all labs...our system has 5 hospitals, each has their own pair. We have Lilly and Lulu, both golden retrievers. They visit employees and patients, and especially children. More and more people are discovering the human/canine bond and how it can be beneficial.

Cat's purring are also said to lower blood pressure. I wish I had the time to dedicate to a dog...but for now, I have my felines whom I adore. They say pets ensure only children will never be lonely. I believe it. I think my daughter Elizabeth thinks Leo and Louie are her brothers.:p

09-27-2011, 11:05 AM
My cat and dog think they are brother and sister. They fight like siblings, play pranks on one another, but when naptime comes, they curl up together on the sofa, sleeping in one another's paws.

Sometimes, though, those pranks are real dirty tricks.