Dogs Can Help Veterans with PTSD

ptsd dogMany veterans who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder have discovered a unique kind of help in dogs. Being with dogs enable them to cope and get back with normal life. Specially trained service dogs acts as a guide or emotional companion to war veterans who are suffering from the disorder.

PTSD can develop after a person has been through a terrifying ordeal or an event that has been very traumatizing with fear and stress as consistent catalysts. A person suffering from the disorder will have a “fight or flight” response that will be triggered even if there is no presence of danger is within the surrounding area.

These special dogs will whine, bark, press their warmth against the leg, or simply stay with the veteran whenever the person loses their composure.

‘Idol’ is an Asset to Veterans

veteran dogA three-and-a-half year old German Shepherd named Idol is quite the celebrity for war veterans. The dog itself is a fellow war veteran and has been opening up the hearts and minds of other veterans in the Silver Lake Assisted Living Facility in Leesburg.

People are seeing smiles in the hospice as soon as the dog walks up to a nearby veteran. The dog now lives in Leesburg with his new owner, Missy Ziler. Ziler coordinated with Cornerstone Hospice to train the dog into becoming a certified hospice therapy dog for patients.

The dog is a blessing to each and every one within the facility.

Source: U.S. Army dog devoted to service

5 Training Tips for Your Pets

training petsPrevention is still better than cure and this does not only apply to us humans but also to our pets. Pet owners should know how to prevent behavioural issues with their pats from starting. These issues can break the bond between pet and pet owner if left unattended.

Pet owners can take preventive measures to ensure that these issues do not go out of proportion. For instance, puppies and kittens are sensitive to human environment; therefore communicating with them appropriately is key for a healthy relationship. Also making clear where dogs and cats should go to their “bathroom” is appropriate for a healthy pet and pet owner relationship.

Source: Top 5 pet training tips from the MSPCA

Cats and Dogs Have Vision as a Superpower

cat and dogScientists point out that the secret for cats and dogs to see things that human eyes cannot is due to ultraviolet light detection. They can see just about every minute detail from an object that may range from psychedelic stripes on flowers to the flashy patterns on birds. These may be oblivious to humans, but to cats and dogs it’s another story.

Ultraviolet light is usually invisible to humans but cats, dogs, and other animals can see it as stated in a new paper that is published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Examples of things that reflect UV that cats and dogs have no problem seeing are patterns on flowers where nectar is and urine trails that lead to prey.

Other animals that are able to detect substantial levels of UV are rodents, hedgehogs, bats, ferrets, and okapis.

Source: Superpower vision lets cats and dogs see in ultraviolet

A Therapy Dog’s Tale

therapy dogsNancy Diepenbrock started training her golden retriever named Quincy to become a therapy dog ever since her retirement started. The woman is energetic but that is all thanks to her dog. Every time the woman will visit her pooch, Quincy will lean his body against Nancy then the dog puts his head on his owner’s knee.

The woman explains that it is amazing how many people will open up to a therapy dog. Nancy visited a woman before who had trouble verbalizing things. However, when the woman started petting Quincy, the words “oh, good dog” came out.

Nancy states that dogs can touch your hearts in places that you did not know had an emptiness.

Source: Nancy and Quincy: A Therapy Dog Story

Socialize More With Man’s Best Friend

mans best friendResearchers at the University of Chicago have conducted a study and found out that owning a pet dog can make people feel less isolated. Owning other types of pets (i.e. cats, lizards, hamsters) have no effect on the matter. Professor John Cacioppo states that dogs are associated with less loneliness. Other pets on the other hand are not associated with this.

When people go out with their dog, they will tend to meet neighbours who will say “Hello.” Other people without their pet pooches will most likely just walk past without a second glance. One of the reasons is that when a dog stops to communicate with another dog, the owner will usually stop as well.

Source: How man’s best friend can help you make more friends: Owning a dog makes you more sociable

Meet the “Man Whisperers”

dogThere is a “dog whisperer,” and also a “horse whisperer,” now there are “Man Whisperers.”

According to Deborah Custance and Jennifer Mayer, researchers at Goldsmiths College in London, pet dogs tend to show off a calm behavior to a person in distress (even when the pooch does not even know the person). This means that dogs have a higher understanding of human emotions than what many tend to believe.

The services that dogs bring are no longer limited to the physically challenged. Dogs have gone from “seeing eye guides” to now include to become the ears for the deaf, pulling a wheelchair, protecting someone from seizures, reminding people to take medication, or even become a calming presence to a person with PTSD.

Our K9 companions do not just love for they also do not judge.

Source: Healthwise: Dog’s empathy brings healing to depressed

Dog Provides Safety and Security to Child with Asperger’s Syndrome

autism dogJavan Olson, a seven-year old that is diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, has found help and companionship in a service dog. Rosco is a silver Labrador that helps the child keep calm, and also provide safety and security. The dog visits the Olson family every two months since December.

Without the dog at his side, the child can be very aggressive, angry, and panics. There are even times that being around strangers can be very troubling for the child. After doing some research, the family found “Made in Texas Assistance Dogs” and acquired the help of Rosco in the process.

Until the dog’s training is completed, he will continue to provide security for Javan every two months.

Teen Chooses Home-School to Train Dogs

dog agilityPiper Novick, a 14-year old teen from Charlotte, has chosen to be home-schooled in order to pursue her dream in training her dogs for agility competitions. Just last December, one of her dogs, Happy, a Shetland Sheepdog, qualified for the American Kennel Club Eukanuba Junior Invitational in Orlando, Florida.

The dog rose above 100 competitors and placing fourth and fifth in the events. However, the K9 placed first for his jump height. Piper was surprised that her dog would win even though it was the dog’s first time competing.

Piper has three other dogs besides Happy and truly devoted to training them for future competitions.

Source: Charlotte teen follows dreams of dog agility training

Animals That Can Keep a Beat are Rare

animal musicMany animals like to play on instruments and somehow keep a rhythm going, but the question is, can animals keep a beat? Patricia Gray, a researcher, was startled when a bonobo named Kanzi was copying her while she was absent-mindedly tapping on the glass. The animal continued to copy the researcher even as the pace of the tapping went faster.

After this finding, there are have been other creatures that have the ability to synchronize their movements to a beat. However, most of the time they are not really synchronizing to a beat of a rhythm as told by the researchers at the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

This ability is still unclear as to whether animals can learn this ability or it is already innate.

Source: Bopping to the beat is a rare feat in animals