Pet Therapy for Addicts

Today’s verse: 

animal

It’s well known and scientifically proven that pet therapy has many benefits.  It can help to lower blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health, it helps people to relax, it releases feel good endorphins, it can help lessen depression, provide comfort, lower anxiety, the list goes on.
But can it help with an addiction?   The typical pet therapy applies to matching animals with pets, such as dogs or cats, or even horses.  But to help with addiction, another use should be considered.  Helping animals can help ourselves.   Consider the animal shelters, where dogs and cats have been often abused, abandoned, and unloved.  These animals have known no love or care in their lives, and do not generally trust most humans.   This is a perfect place for a recovering addict to volunteer.
Taking care of these animals requires acts of kindness and selflessness.  So many addicts and alcoholics have suffered years of putting themselves and their needs above every one else. Many have been very manipulative and selfish.  When they are trying to recover, they need to detoxify their mind, body and spirit.

According to an article on RecoveryRanch.com, “Animal-assisting therapy can help even the most broken and jaded person rediscover his or her deepest inner sources of compassion, which is an essential step for any addict who hopes to finally ascend from the pit of despair and shame that dominated his or her existence for so long. Before those with a history of substance abuse can hope to find lasting sobriety, they must first rebuild their self-esteem to the point where they actually feel strong enough to accomplish difficult things and worthy enough to deserve the happiness and peace that was denied them during their years of battling against alcoholism or drug addiction.”

Just as we need redemption, so do animals.   The animals are all part of God’s creation. He cares for them as He cares for us.  Caring for them can help us to care for ourselves. Abused animals being treated by  human recovering self-abusers.  It is the circle of life. God’s hand is evident in all of the kindness and love that flows back and forth between the addicts and the animals as they both grow in trust.  Blessings to everyone recovering from an addiction, and blessings to animals everywhere.

Healthy Living Recipe

In honor of animals, I am including today a healthy recipe for dog biscuits!  My dog absolutely loves them.  Super easy to make, and cheaper than store bought treats.

Dog Biscuits

Heat oven to 350° F

Whisk together 2 eggs and 1/2 cup canned pumpkin

Stir in 2 Tbsp. dried milk, 1/4 tsp. sea salt, and 1 tsp. dried parsley

Add gradually 2 1/2 cups brown rice flour

Stir until stiff dough forms.  Knead slightly and roll out 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick.
Cut out shapes with cookie cutter (there are bone shaped cookie cutters, I use a shot glass which makes the perfect size for my dog)
Put on ungreased cookie sheet and bake 20 minutes, turn over and bake another 20 minutes.  Let cool completely.

 

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