Whether you are a horse lover, a feline fanatic or a true pup parent, there is nothing quite like the unconditional love of a pet–something these Alachua County residents are more than aware of! From rescues to therapy animals, these pet lovers are sharing what makes their relationship with their animals so special!
with owner Jen Martin
We were so excited to welcome Oliver into the family in 2019. I own Sage Wellness, a mental health counseling office and Andrew owns Comprehensive Dental Care, a dental office. We knew we wanted to provide opportunities for our patients to experience the healing properties of having an animal around. Being around and petting an animal helps to reduce blood pressure and stress, and we believed this would be a great benefit to our clientele.
When Oliver was born, he was chosen because he has a calm and gentle temperament. As a puppy, he would go to the dental office every day to greet patients in the waiting room and have exposure to a wide variety of noises, people of different ages and equipment. As Oliver has grown up, he has participated in different obedience training programs and is a therapy dog in training.
He participates in some animal-assisted therapy at Sage Wellness. This means he comes into the counseling room with me and the client. The client is encouraged to interact with him and use him as support during the session. We also can use their experience with Oliver as a correlate to then discuss how they experience trust, vulnerability, comfort in their life with other people and animals. When clients see Oliver, we see a lot of smiles! People are so excited to meet him and share about their own furry loved ones.