The role of companion animals in our resiliency

Story submitted by Judy Walbridge, Prairie Mountain Health Advisory Council Member

The chronic stress of COVID 19 is not unlike the aftermath of the 2013 High River flood when many of the things we valued were suddenly lost for reasons well beyond our control. Much like the pandemic, the flood was a time of trauma, separation, and grief as well as heroism and community spirit as strangers pulled together in the years that followed with the common goal of bouncing back. As I think back to being rescued with my pets by boat from my front doorstep, I still recall the firefighters’ laughter when they learned that my elderly dog was named Noah!

Through my work with AHS Addiction and Mental Health and the local animal shelter, many stories of resiliency subsequently emerged highlighting how significant companion animals have been in times of adversity. Pets that survived the flood provided our community with a much-needed dose of normalcy and kept us going when it seemed the world around us was in chaos—one more example of ‘patching our quilt’.

You can take a look at Judy's presentation, including some wonderful stories and articles, here.

You can also watch the videos related to this topic here:


Share your favourite stories of your pets, or how they've helped you get through COVID-19 in the comments below.

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