“I miss my dog and cat,” he said hesitantly, after a few minutes.
Hopefully, I didn’t react. But nontheless I was a bit surprised. After all, this client normally projected an aura of emotional detachment, like he was pretty much unaffected by anything.
Then later in the week I left my office and encountered another client shedding tears on the sidewalk. When I asked what was going on, he told me he missed his dog. Since he lived in Arizona I suggested that maybe he could arrange a visit.
While I’ve been working with addicts for over twenty years - and have a friend who runs a program that takes animals into hospitals - I never a thought about animals in the context of therapy with addicts and alcoholics.
However, the way our history goes once something becomes a topic of interest around here it isn’t long before we somehow try to incorporate pet therapy into the program.
The real question with whatever we initiate is always: will it enhance recovery?
In this case I think we know the answer.