We’ve been Your Pals since Ancient Greece!

Letters from Watson

Letters from Watson

Hi Everybody,

And here I am again. My blogging and tweeting both seem to come in bursts now… All at once, or not at all. Frequently, I get so busy with ball and tug that I forget all about what I had planned. Imagine that.

In 2009, a very nice young woman (I’m sure she is nice because of her dissertation https://urresearch.rochester.edu/institutionalPublicationPublicView.action?institutionalItemId=7299),  Jennifer Blender, wrote her (very long… and interesting, of course)  doctoral dissertation on A Multimodal Investigation of the Use of AnimalAssisted Therapy in a Clinical Interview. If you look at that, you cansee her section on the history of animals used to improve human health.  She even traces it back to Ancient Greece (5000+ years ago… which soundslike a long time ago, but I can’t be sure) in which “cynotherapists”  (healing dogs… and I ask you… what dog would NOT be “healing!”) lickedthe wounds of ill patients. They were thought to have magical powers,  but now it’s thought that the small amount of antibacterial material intheir saliva may have helped because modern antibacterial agents had notbeen invented yet! She also wrote about the first person to write ascientific journal article about the connection between human health andanimals. That was done by Bossard, in 1944 (a long, long time ago… Ithink, but I don’t really understand how time works, myself), andreported a positive effect of dogs on “improving family life” and“mental health.”

For a wonderful scholarly review of the literature on the effects ofpets (of all kinds!) on human health and the research on a wide varietyof animals on human well-being (e.g., fishtanks, budgies, dolphins,  horses, cats, and of course, dogs!), see: http://www.thepsychologist.org.uk/archive/archive_home.cfm?volumeID=24&editionID=198&ArticleID=1812 (It may take awhile to load, but it’s worth it and, if you can’t pullit up, there’s a copy you are welcome to read in the Pathways toWellness waiting room… previously staffed by me and currently staffed by   my great nephew, Dudley, and/or his formerly homeless street pal,  Oliver).

By the way, if you yourself have a pet and want an “EmotionalAssistance Animal” tag for her/him, there’s a really neat place Dudley’s   friend, Judy Judy Judy, told him about: http://www.servicedogtag.com/categories/Emotional-Support-Animal-IDs So now Dudley, Oliver, and even Bailey are getting their official "creds." I’membarrassed to say that not one of them could pass the regular certified   “Therapy Animal” test at this point, but they can be emotionallyhelpful even though they aren’t exactly well-behaved. Our friend, Oscar,   is one of those actual “Certified Therapy Dogs” and his picture (withhis mom, Robin) is in this month’s newsletter. He’s really smart and he has to be well-behaved because he’s a Bull Mastiff so he’s HUGEMONGOUS!

Well, that’s all I got for now. There are too many balls zoominaround here and too many fun pals bugging me to play tug with em for me to spend all day writing to you (as much as I’d like to… and if youneeded me to, I would, but you don’t right now)... and after all thisresearch stuff, I really need a nap under a big shady tree amidst thewild flowers… don’t you?

In Love and Light,
Watson with Wings