Meet Oliver. Are you in love? I am. Just look at those eyes. He is a real sweetheart, isn't he? What you don't know is this... that adorable dog, is actually a registered volunteer at our local hospital. Oliver interacts with all the patients and staff. He is a good listener and provides lots of comfort to those in need. He loves being petted. And he thoroughly enjoys his job as a therapy dog. He tries to make everyone’s day a little brighter, just by being there. He is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. And he is ten years old. My husband and I had a chance to meet him during a recent hospital visit. He touched our lives and put joy in our hearts. We found out that Oliver works for the DELTA SOCIETY. They are a national non-profit organization that helps people by incorporating companion animals into their daily lives. “Delta Society's Pet Partners program trains and screens volunteers with their pets so they can visit patients/clients in hospitals, nursing homes, hospice and physical therapy centers, schools, libraries and many other facilities. Over 10,000 handler/animal teams bring comfort and compassion to those in need. These dedicated volunteers and their pets have been credited for helping people forget about their pain, providing distractions so nurses can perform medical procedures on patients and inspiring patients recovering from strokes and heart attacks to perform more physical therapy exercises than when they work with just their human therapist.” It is a well-known fact that when animals are around… people’s blood pressure will drop signifigantly. They will feel less depressed. Less lonely. And they will also experience less anxiety and stress. The DELTA SOCIETY depends on individuals and corporations for financial support. They receive no government funding. My husband and I are putting them on our Christmas List this year and will be making a donation. It is one of three charities we support. The other ones are… THE ROLLING DOG FARM, a place where disabled animals enjoy life. And HEIFER INTERNATIONAL, where impoverished families around the world receive training and gifts of animals (heifers, sheep, goats, chickens, etc.) that help them become self-reliant. The theory is… ‘it is better to teach a man to fish so he can feed himself than to give him a fish that will feed him just once.’ The links to these charities are listed below. The holiday season is almost upon us. When thinking of what you want for Christmas this year… think of others. Include them in the budget. It is truly better to give, than receive.