Published By Aster | Illustrated By Veronica Wood
Commissioned By Katie Steel, Department Store for the Mind
Four-Legged Therapy is filled with stories about how animals enhance our existence – from rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg’s daily wonder with his Welsh Border collie Mitzpah to The Pool writer Caroline O’Donoghue’s freelance days with Sylvie the Jack-Russell terrier.
Canines, cats or community-owned hens and pet rabbits, school goats or visiting llamas offer us purpose – something to care for – and motivation to get out into the world. Their constant presence, daily rhythms and intuition teach us about listening, love and developing resilience in a hectic world where mental health challenges like depression, anxiety and loneliness affect old and young alike.
Editor Katie Steel asked a psychologist, philosopher, a rabbi, a mother, wellbeing specialists and writers about the positive lessons our fluffy, scaly and, let’s face it, stinky, friends share with us.
Can they encourage us to be more in the moment and lead happier lives?