When life levels a nasty blow on people, home confinement can seem as endless as a jail sentence. Life becomes unbearable. Everyone else is out there doing things. He or she is housebound. It is unbearable to many people and they feel isolated from everything in life they want to experience. They have never felt so alone. Enter a dog. Large or small, it makes no difference. The dog is brought in to see a person in a bed, or in a wheelchair, and it does not see isolation or despair, it sees a new friend, a new opportunity, someone to relate to and to play with.
For the many who are incapacitated by illness or accident and face a dubious recovery, a dog seeing a new friend for the first time may be the best thing available to bring this patient back toward a willingness to recover from catastrophe. The patient might not even realize this dog is therapy. In a bleak world of pain, doctors who probe and fuss, it is a great relief to see a dog who wants someone to play with him.
If the patient can throw a tennis ball to chase down, the game is on. If he can't, maybe he can pet a friend who keeps him company. If even that can't be done, well, dogs are inventive, and will think of something fun. And, patients who haven't smiled once since tragedy ruined their lives, grin at that silly creature on the bed beside him, and take the first long step back to re-entering the world again.