Researchers 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
There 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
Javan 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.
Piper 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
Andres Somoza, animal care coordinator at Safe Harbor Humane Society in Kenosha, states some ideas for dogs and dog owners to battle boredom while staying indoors. Cold weather and heavy snow can limit people and dogs alike in enjoying the outdoors. The good news is that they can still focus all that extra energy onto something else.
For instance, dog owners can have their dogs do a bit of nose work whilst inside the house. Let the K9 engage in using their noses in sniffing out their favorite treat or toy. Dog owners can also play with their pet pooches with interactive puzzle toys to keep the mind at work.
Also, dog owners should provide their dogs with a warm place to sleep that is off the floor and free from drafts.
Source: Can’t get outside? Play mind games with your dog
An anti-bullying program called “Paws Against Bullying” is using therapy dogs to teach schools about bullying and what are its effects. The program started three years ago in Waco and volunteers show that bullies come in all shapes and sizes.
The program incorporates a smaller dog and a bigger dog. After which, volunteers ask students on who they think is the bully. Majority of students will say that the bigger dog is the bully just because he is big; however, if the smaller dog were to say something mean to the bigger dog then the situation is then reversed.
The therapy dogs also portray how a victim feels after being bullied.
Source: Therapy Dogs Bring New Perspective On Bullying
A new “spokesdog” is teaching human beings of the effects of bullying and the greatness of empathy towards others. Marshall, a 2-year old yellow labrador mix, was saved from a near death experience after being attacked by other dogs. He was seen with a badly injured leg, numerous dog bites, and huddled into a corner of a filthy pen.
The dog was a victim of hoarding and the children of the hoarder were the ones who reported their own mother to the authorities. The hoarder was featured on Animal Planet’s TV show called “Confessions: Animal Hoarding.” It was the TV crew that found the dog close to dying.
Marshall was brought home by Clayton resident Cyndi Willenbrock after the K9 received therapy and medication.
Source: Marshall The Miracle Dog
Paws Against Bullying is a Texas group that uses therapy dogs to try and help prevent bullying in schools. They use “man’s best friend” to shine a new light on one of America’s growing problem which is bullying.
At least two dogs are brought into schools by dog handlers. Large and small dogs are being used in the program to ask questions and demonstrate how bullies can come in all shapes and sizes.
The program is spearheaded by Angel Paws Waco.
Takoda, a British Labrador, gives Rod Brashears his freedom. The dog goes with his owner anywhere as the Labrador is a diabetic alert service dog.
The dog alerts Rod when his blood sugars become dangerously low or high. The dog’s accuracy in detecting his blood sugar levels is a great help for him. When the K9 detects a change in his owner’s blood sugar levels, he gives an alert to his owner, making Rod aware of the approaching chemical change and to immediately take action.
Paula Lawrence-Brown is the director of Guide Dogs of Texas and creates a better life for offenders at the Dominguez State Jail with the Pawsitive Approach Program.
The director said that the inmates participating in the program are the ones that want to turn their lives around and want to contribute to the community. Eighty offenders in the prison have already participated in the program and only two have returned to Dominguez.
The program is already fourteen-years old and has already shifted to a new warden about four months ago.