When I had my appendix removed at 10(?) years old, the day I arrived they had animal therapy dogs that were coming around the hospital in the children's wing. I don't know how many dogs they had that day, but they had a lab puppy that came into my room, they put it up on my bed, it played for a bit and proceeded to fall asleep on my lap for an hour and a half. It was enough to get my mind off the pain in my gut (the morphine was helping some too, but the dog was more memorable) and the impending opening up of self. I won't say for sure that it would have been a completely different experience without that dog, but I have my conclusions, and you would have a very difficult time arguing against me.
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Back when my father was in a nursing home I used to bring my collie (the one in my avatar) in to visit him. It would take at least 30 minutes to get from the elevator to my father's room since Starbuck and I had to stop and visit with all the residents and staff along the way. Starbuck loved it since he was fed all sorts of treats. Good thing he had an iron stomach. And the residents loved him. It seems that almost everyone had a collie when they were younger.
You have a blue merle! I love merles.
"You work here? You must be SO rich!"
RESCUE A PET! Within the heart of every stray Lies the singular desire to be loved.