hypothesis: service animals also really help us to prioritize our own care the way we prioritize theirs. taking care of service animals helps to remind us to care for ourselves and also how caring for them is caring for ourselves.
walking has mental health benefits. walking a dog is an excuse to take care of ourselves.
Comforting skills were more than soft, feel-good accessories for enhancing our connections—they were essential for clear, open, and honest communication. […] The art of comforting meant creating a safe place for telling the truth […]. We needed the “soft” skills of comforting to establish reliable lines of communication, especially in places where “hard” medical science was supposed to heal us.