One of the most important jobs any dog can undertake is being a Pet Therapy dog. These dogs can become important parts of a person's recovery process, whether they suffer from physical or emotional impairments, and have, in some cases, meant the difference between life and death for many patients who had lost hope. A variety of different animals have been used in pet therapy, all with astounding success; man's best friend, though, always holds a special place in everyone's heart and has at excelled at assisting those who are most in need.
It was originally noticed that, on average, individuals who had a dog, or other types of pet in their household would highly benefit from the presence of that pet. For example, they suffered less from loneliness, not only because of the pet itself, but also due to factors like walking the dog, which brought them into contact with others. People who owned dogs were also, again on average, more nurturing, responsible and knew how to manage their time more wisely. The mere act of petting a dog had been documented to have a soothing effect on people. A very simple conclusion arose: dogs just make people happy and when people are happy they feel good. It was known throughout most scientific circles that people who were depressed were more prone to a whole slew of medical conditions, not to mention longer recovery times after physical or emotional traumas. The observation that dogs could make people happy was used to start programs all around the nation and the world in which a dog, or other animal, would visit individuals with some sort of emotional or physical problem; people who had not spoken in weeks began to smile and talk, people undergoing physical therapy were able to find the strength to work harder and get better quicker, children who found it hard to learn started to progress at astounding rates. Motor skills improved, anxiety was reduced, self-esteem grew and social skills developed.
Beagles are one of the breeds most often used in pet therapy settings. A properly bred and trained Beagle has perhaps the most amiable personality of all the dog breeds. He loves to have fun, his tail always wagging, and he has an incredibly contagious love of life. He loves everyone and everything, all of the time. He always has a bounce in his step and he is always ready to play. Beagles have an immense amount of love to give, and they are not shy dogs, drowning you in affection almost the instant they see you. They adore humans and children and have been used with incredible success in a variety of assistance settings, from children's hospitals to nursing homes. They're not intimidating dogs, given their size, so they don't tend to scare people, even those who are not normally comfortable around dogs. And most importantly, they seem to be irresistible: one minute with a Beagle and you can't help but smile.