My parents came to visit Easter weekend. It was the first time they met Cider. Cider for the most part was on her best behavior. She took a liking to my dad quickly and he did the same to her. They were pals the entire weekend.
I think a dog would do my dad's heart good. In fact, medical research does report that dogs lower stress in patients. Although, Cider seems to raise my stress levels at times. So maybe not a Cider, but a well behaved dog (not puppy) would be better.