The old cliché is true, dogs really are a man’s best friend. Not many homes are without a dog and not many of us remember a childhood without our main companions by our side. So why are dogs so loved?
This week I lost my dog of 12 years. His name was Bono. A part of me feels as if we have lost a member of our family. Growing up with Bono holds some very special memories for me and all my family and that is why I dedicate my blog to him this week. Bono had grown old and over the last few weeks had really slowed down.
I said good bye to him on Friday morning, and when I came home from work he was gone. When you’re feeling down sometimes the only thing that can cheer you up is your dog. I feel lucky to have had such an amazing pet be part of my life for so many years. (GO HUG YOUR DOG)Well if science says it – IT MUST BE TRUE. (As if we needed proof!)
According to the Telegraph “Researchers found that the same hormone, oxytocin, spikes in both human and canine brains when a dog is gazing at its owner. Oxytocin is known to play a strong role in triggering feelings of unconditional love and protection when parents and children look into each other’s eyes or embrace.”
Dogs are part of the family, your kid’s adventure buddy and sometimes serve as an elderly person’s only company. They can also be life savers.
Dogs for the Disabled is a charity which was set up in 2007. “Our assistance dogs are specially trained to assist physically disabled children and adults to carry out a range of practical tasks in order to achieve greater independence. Every dog is trained to help with simple everyday tasks such as opening/closing doors, picking up dropped items, emptying the washing machine, sending for help or even helping a child with severe walking difficulties to walk with greater ease and balance.” Not only are these dogs becoming best friends with their assigned children or adults they also become the supportive help to his/her daily life.
Dogs have also been associated with the prevention of depression and anxiety. The Irish Therapy Dogs Organisation states “One explanation for these therapeutic effects is that a dog fulfils the most basic human need to touch. The companionship of a dog can help to calm and soothe us, ease anxiety and boost our mood. Stroking, holding and fussing over a canine friend helps reduce our sense of isolation and loneliness.” Irish Therapy Dogs was founded in 2008 by those who believed dogs could help those suffering from depression and special needs