Introduction -- Heart. Finding courage: pets as secure bases and safe havens -- Building trust: animals and the biochemistry of bonding -- Coping with grief: fur as a source of comfort and solace -- Flourishing after sorrow: four-legged support for post-traumatic growth -- Body. Vitalizing physical health: the effect of wags and whiskers on physiology -- Embracing joy: Animals' playful companionship transforms loneliness -- Overcoming illness or injury: the role of pets in persevering through physical challenges -- Recovering from addiction: the stabilizing power of furry acceptance -- Mind. Cultivating grit: pets as source of strength and resilience -- Supporting mental and emotional well-being: paws anchor us in the present -- Fostering children's development: animals' impact on autism, reading skills, and cognitive growth -- Connection. Enriching relationships: pets bind us together -- Beyond cats and dogs: appreciating the natural world and all the creatures in it -- Discovering purpose: what animals can teach us about meaning, love, and faith.Notes:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 249-262).