by Marty Becker
Review by Lisa Perkins on Feb 19th 2003
The Healing Power of Pets by Dr. Marty Becker with
Danelle Morton is an incredible insight into how our bodies and minds can be
healed by the companionship of our pets. This book looks into the amazing
therapeutic power our pets can have on our well-being and lives.
Becker begins The Healing Power of Pets in
chapter one with a look into The Power of Childhood Pets. Most people
remember very little about their childhood but seem to have no problem
recalling a great moment or two involving their pets. These childhood memories
are intense and, for the most part, pleasant in regards to a pet. Children feel
no reservations in speaking with their pets about things that happen in their
everyday lives. Becker ends chapter one leading into chapter two: Untying
the Knot of a Troubled Childhood.
This chapter opens with the tragedy of Columbine,
and the incredible effects of animals in the healing process. Trauma does
damage the ability to form a relationship, Marguerite said (Marguerite
McCormack, project director at Columbine Connections Resource Center, a place
where people traumatized by the event could receive free counseling). It
destroys the belief in a safe universe
Animals are safe. This is a relationship
that will not bring you harm
the universe is in its right place. (p. 48, 51)
This chapter deals with not only Columbine, but also other tragedies that,
unfortunately, happen in many other instances. Becker deals with this very
The rest of part one, which concentrates on the Healing
Power of Pets, focuses on physical healing and how our pets help in that
area. Pets encourage us to exercise more and eat properly. Pets can sense when there is going to be a
health problem. Becker details more than one case where, through the perception
of a pet, someone got to the hospital before they had a serious heart attack, a
diabetic reaction, or a stroke. Somehow our pets sense when there is a problem
and warn us. Becker also goes into detail about the power of pets to heal when
we are already sick.
Part two, The Pet Prescription, explains how
to pick a pet that works best for your situation and illness. This part also
gives tests and tips to help find the perfect pet for your circumstances and
lifestyle. Becker describes how to pick the right pet at a shelter or breeder
using what is called the Tripp Tests. He also explains how some pets have
certain roles in specific illnesses.
Part three, Deepening the Bond, goes into
detail on taking care of your pet so that you can get the most out of your
relationship with you pet(s). Becker also provides a quiz: Grading Your
People-Pet Bond, as well as a health care checklist for your pet.
Becker closes with a list of resources,
complete with addresses and websites.
A wonderful book that should draw everyone
closer to his or her animal friends, and perhaps encourage adoption of a pet.
© 2003 Lisa Perkins
Perkins writes about herself:
been a contributing editor for Suite101.com for over a year in the topic
History of the Oto Tribe. I became interested in the subject of mental health
when my mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia. I live in Southwest Missouri
with my husband and 4 children. I plan to go to college to become a teacher.