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Dog, Interrupted

Nothing surprising in this article but you know me, I can’t keep my muzzle shut.Dr. Bob Hartley At Work

(NewsTarget) According to a recent study, dogs may be man’s best friend in more ways than previously thought.

The study, written by Dr. Deborah Wells of Queen’s University, Belfast, for the British Journal of Health Psychiatry, found that dog owners tend to suffer less from ill health, have lower cholesterol, and lower blood pressure.

Dog owners also have cleaner floors, cleaner plates and cleaner faces.

Citing a 1995 study, Dr. Wells stated that dog owners who had suffered heart attacks were 8.6 percent more likely to be alive one year following their heart attacks than patients that did not own dogs.

Not cited was that dog owners who had suffered heart attacks were 100% more likely to be alive one year following their heart attacks than patients that were dead.

“It is possible that dogs can directly promote our well-being by buffering us from stress,” said Dr. Wells. “The ownership of a dog can also lead to increases in physical activity and psychological human health in a more indirect manner.”

Dr. Aaron Katcher, emeritus professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, has found “much evidence that social support is a critical variable in the recovery from many serious biological disorders, including psychiatric illness,” during the course of his studies on human and animal interaction.

I don’t have enough finely clipped nails to count the many times I’ve played a psychiatrist, not on TV, but for my parents. Humans carry around as much baggage as a homeless St. Bernard on his way up the Alps. If me begging for treats makes them feel better, then who am I to get in the way of their therapy?

A 2005 report, cited by Dr. Wells, written by the Techninon Institute of Technology in Israel, indicates that interaction with canine companions has therapeutic benefits for people with schizophrenia, providing emotional support and reality-testing impetus.

“I was diagnosed with schizophrenia when I was 17. At age 19, the new psychiatrist I was seeing suggested to my parents that I get a ‘therapy dog’,” commented Sarah Lane on the report at www.DoggieNews.com.

“I feel so much better, ” Sarah said. Then, finishing her thought, “and so do I.”

Hmmm…maybe she needs a larger dog.

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