Have you ever held a puppy or kitten and not immediately fallen in love? Simplystroking an animal’s soft fur can help calm the most stressed and irritated heart. Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial’s AprilSpirit Night is entitled “Hearts in Love Furever”and is scheduled for Thursday, April 9, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Tamarac, The Center for Health and WellBeing.

Were you aware that research over the past 25 years has shown that pets can help lower one’s blood pressure, ward off depression, boost immunity, keep us moving, and maybe even improve our social life?

Heart attack patients who have pets survive longer than those without pets. Male pet owners have less signs of heart disease—lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels—than non-pet owners. A growing number of studies suggest that children growing up in a home with “furred animals” will have less risk of allergies and asthma. Some studies have shown that Alzheimer’s patients have fewer anxious outbursts if there is an animal in the home. Interesting, don’t you think?

Max GenoJoin us for this informative and enjoyable evening on the healthy benefits of pets in our lives. Therapy dog specialist, Barb Geno, will be the presenter. Barb has been taking her therapy dogs to community events, schools, hospitals, and nursing homes in our area for a number of years. She and her pets have helped calm children in emergency room situations. Her dogs have provided “warm fuzzies” for students in classroom environments. Visits to hospital inpatients have helped calm anxious hearts and brought smiles to many faces. Come and learn how pets can help have these same calming and healthy benefits for you as well.

Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial’s monthly Spirit Night program, “Hearts in Love Furever”, is designed to raise awareness about the potential health benefits of having a special furry critter in your home. Pets improve our health without speaking a word and without ever demanding a thing—they just need you, your love and caring. Everyone is welcome to attend this free program!