Dear Dr Fox: I want to thank you for a previous column where you advised retired seniors to consider adopting an older dog. That’s exactly what I did, taking Max, 8, a mix of Australian heels whose owner couldn’t take him to an assisted living facility.
Max has saved me from depression and suicidal thoughts since my wife died and we never had children. Max is my devoted savior. I have someone I have to get up for every morning, and they take care of me too, starting my days with a wagging tail and a happy face. It gives me meaning in life. GL, West Palm Beach, Florida
Dear GL: Thanks for sharing your story. Max gives you a reason to get up in the morning and definitely takes you outside for walks as well as keeping you company around the house. For a nice collection of stories about how rescued animals have helped people, see Richard D. Rowland’s book “A Glimpse Behind the Veil: Stories About the Human-Animal Connection” and the touching book “Mutual Rescue: How Adopting a Homeless Animal Can Save You Too ”by Carol Novello and Ginny Graves.
Dear Dr Fox: I am a registered massage therapist who has been practicing massage therapy on humans for over 25 years. I am now semi-retired, but would like to use my animal massage skills on a voluntary basis. I don’t know where or how to start. I would be ready to study on my own so that I can be prepared. MS, Jupiter, Florida