Dogs Help Relieve Stress in Disaster Zones

If you've ever come home from work so tense you could break, and been greeted by your happy dog, you know the tension-easing effects of...

Maria Goodavage  |  May 18th 2011


If you’ve ever come home from work so tense you could break, and been greeted by your happy dog, you know the tension-easing effects of man’s best friend. There’s nothing like a dog to get you through rough times. Of course, the best dog is your own, but in a pinch, any dog will do. Pet a dog, and stress melts away. Hug one, and it positively evaporates.

“It was so overwhelming to see the magnitude of the damage – lives torn to shreds,” she said. “You really wonder where they are going to put all the debris, how they are going to rebuild.

“Some of the victims who had lost their homes would come up and pet the dogs and start crying. That love, that unconditional love a dog gives is very powerful.”

DePasquale knows just how powerful therapy dogs can be. Ten years ago, she was hospitalized for a week. She said she was antsy and longing to go home when she got a special visit.

“I missed my dog so bad,” she said. “They had a therapy dog program at the hospital, and the dog came and sat on my bed, and even though it wasn’t my dog, it was nice.”

She said the therapy dog’s visit made her feel “significantly better.”