JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Washington -- What would a home be without man's furry, four-legged best friend? But if you're an expectant mom, you might have some questions or concerns about how best to introduce or socialize fido to the newest member of the family.

Providing answers to those questions, and teaching young parents how to safely interact with pets, was the goal of Public Health Activity-Fort Lewis' (PHA-FL) animal care assistants who participated in the 7th Annual Operation Baby Shower held at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), Washington.

The Jan. 20 event was sponsored by JBLM's Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, and attended by approximately 500 expectant moms, dads and their children. Throughout the day, members of the PHA-FL veterinary services team manned an information booth and provided educational information on the importance of recognizing animal's body language, socializing family pets, and fostering the human-animal bond for expectant parents and their family pets.

The human-animal bond is considered a dynamic relationship between people and animals, and is mutually beneficial to both. Learning how to better interact with the animals we love was a great experience for the JBLM community.

"Operation Baby Shower provided a valuable community outreach opportunity for our motivated and dedicated animal care assistants," said Lt. Col. Nic Cabano, commander, PHA-FL. "Spc. Mary Jude Larkin and Spc. Jordan Putscher, exemplify the One Health mission at its finest. They provided timely and important veterinary knowledge for expectant parents and their pets, strengthening our ready and resilient military families here at JBLM."