If you've ever met me or my wife, you'd know that we are passionate about animals, especially dogs. In fact, we have a thriving Pet Photography Business that we've operated for the past 7 years. Flash and Hound Pet Photography.
Our relationship with dogs has given us a deep appreciation of the healing properties that the people/dog connection can provide. Current research suggests that the dog connection (and possibly other pets) can lower cortisol levels (indicator of stress), lower blood pressure and even influence child development. Dogs have also played in increasing role as service animals to both military veterans and civilians.
In our acupuncture clinic, we are considered a dog-friendly facility. Most of my acupuncture patients have met one of my two therapy dogs, Penny and Piper. Penny passed away a few years ago from cancer despite our best efforts. She was deeply loved and played a huge role as member of our family and as a therapy dog here at the acupuncture clinic. Penny and now Piper are Hungarian Vizslas. The breed is famous for being Hypo-Allergenic, tireless runners, having no scent ( there is no doggy odor), and incessant snugglers.
Penny left huge shoes to fill, but our second Vizsla, Piper is young and doing her best to carry on this legacy. She is not perfect and can greet you with some "welcome" woofs, but once greetings are made, she will either crawl into her pet cave, or offer to join you on the table. Once she's settled in, the acupuncture treatment can begin. She's very good at sleeping during treatment, so her chance of disturbing the needles is very low.
Of course, this dog-therapy is COMPLETELY optional and only done on request of the patient. We have patients that choose not to interact with Piper, and that is completely acceptable. Our first priority is towards the health of our patients and will do our best to provide the most comfortable environment for them and their healing experience...whether it's acupuncture, cupping therapy, or cold-laser therapy.