Medical science has finally come around to a belief that dog owners have known to be true for hundreds of years; our pets can actually improve our mental health. When a person suffers a debilitating illness or injury, depression is a common side effect. Countless studies have shown that the companionship of a dog can lower blood pressure, stabilize mood, boost self esteem and give us a reason to get up and get on with life. One woman has seen this miraculous transformation first-hand and is paying it forward by helping other patients and pets in need.
When J.P. Staves was struck by a drunk driver, his mother Donna never thought he’d walk again. With lots of patience and physical therapy, she was able to aid in her son’s rehabilitation until he could at last take those precious steps she feared he’d never take. But there was another hurdle his mother could not help him overcome. Depression. Though J.P.’s months of recovery paid off physically, his mental outlook seemed permanently damaged. Until he met Roamer.
Roamer was an abandoned dog taken in by a friend of Donna. The friend gave Roamer to J.P. as a gift. Donna was so impressed by the way Roamer helped her son overcome his depression that she decided to take up the cause of finding homes for dogs who needed them, and homes that needed dogs.
She formed Pawzatively Canine, a free dog-placement service dedicated to uniting victims of depression with dogs in need. “Our mission is simple; it’s to enhance lives, one dog at a time,” Donna said.
Donna has “absolutely no doubt that Roamer saved my son’s life.” Now she’s using Pawzatively Canine to make that difference in the lives of others.
To follow along with the awesome work that this organization does, check out Pawzatively Canine on Facebook!