Superman dog with a cape.

Incredibles: Parkinson’s Comfort Pets Are Super Heroes Too

What is it about a furry friend that seems to melt one’s troubles away? To me, it’s “incredible” to watch; especially when one’s troubles include all the symptoms that come along with a chronic illness like Parkinson’s disease. Whether your illness presents physical issues with rigidity, tremor, bradykinesia, or if you suffer from cognitive symptoms of dementia, confusion, or anxiety and depression, a furry friend can quickly become quite the “Super Hero Pet!” Comfort pets have been known to help with victims of natural disasters, terrible tragedies like school shootings, nursing home patients, terminal illnesses, abused children, and emotional therapeutic needs. Quickly, a sensitive dog can become another caregiver in the home to help with mood, coping, wellness, physical exercise, and companionship.

“They’re kind of like counselors with fur. They have excellent listening skills, and they demonstrate unconditional love. They don’t judge you or talk back,” says Tim Hentzer of Lutheran Church Charities K9 Comfort Dogs in a National Geographic News post called The Healing Power of Dogs.” “When humans show us affection, it’s quite a complicated thing that involves expectations and judgments. But with a dog, it’s a very uncomplicated, non-challenging interaction with no consequences. And if you’ve been through a hard time (or, have Parkinson’s disease), it’s lovely to have that.” Yes, it’s even “incredible.” Meet our Hershey. He is our Parkinson’s Super Hero!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The ParkinsonsDisease.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

View Comments (6)
  • Cmorgan180
    4 months ago

    My husband & I have a little shih-Tzu named Sophie. My husband is the one with Parkinson’s & Sophie has always been his dog but even more so for the last several months since he first really started showing symptoms. There are days that she doesn’t even want to go outside unless he goes with her. She gives him so much enjoyment.

  • Angie Hott author
    3 months ago

    Sophie and our Hershey sound like one of a kind! Our Parkie Pet sticks with my husband too. I think my favorite thing Hershey does is “talk” to him.
    Over the years, his face has turned white, just like Dan! They both have gray beards now even!
    Hugs to you both,
    Angie

  • chris.hall moderator
    4 months ago

    Sophie sounds like a true companion to your husband, @cmorgan180. So glad to hear about that. Thanks for sharing! – Chris, ParkinsonsDisease.net Team Member

  • revrob
    4 months ago

    Here’s my Parkinson’s Super Hero… DiNozzo

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/PWt7t9JCruyPJvwbA

  • Angie Hott author
    3 months ago

    Hi Rob!
    Just now figuring out how to re-set my ParkinsonsDisease.net password! Always great to hear from you and see DiNozzo too! You’re a super hero too! How is the boxing going?
    love,
    Angie

  • chris.hall moderator
    4 months ago

    Thanks for sharing, @revrob! It looks like the link isn’t working. Do you have another link to use? – Chris, ParkinsonsDisease.net Team

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