Furry friends ease depression, loneliness after spousal loss -- ScienceDailyThey found all individuals who lost their spouse experienced higher levels of depression. However, people without a pet experienced more significant increases in depressive symptoms and higher loneliness than those who had pets. In fact, those who had a pet and experienced the death or divorce of their spouse were no lonelier than older adults who didn't experience one of those events.
Owning a dog is influenced by our genetic make-up -- ScienceDaily"We were surprised to see that a person's genetic make-up appears to be a significant influence in whether they own a dog. As such, these findings have major implications in several different fields related to understanding dog-human interaction throughout history and in modern times. Although dogs and other pets are common household members across the globe, little is known how they impact our daily life and health. Perhaps some people have a higher innate propensity to care for a pet than others." says Tove Fall, lead author of the study, and Professor in Molecular Epidemiology at the Department of Medical Sciences and the Science for Life Laboratory, Uppsala University.
Therapy dogs effective in reducing symptoms of ADHD, study finds -- ScienceDailyResults from Schuck's research indicate children with ADHD who received canine assisted intervention (CAI) experienced a reduction in inattention and an improvement in social skills. And, while both CAI and non-CAI interventions were ultimately found to be effective for reducing overall ADHD symptom severity after 12 weeks, the group assisted by therapy dogs fared significantly better with improved attention and social skills at only eight weeks and demonstrated fewer behavioral problems. No significant group differences, however, were reported for hyperactivity and impulsivity. "Our finding that dogs can hasten the treatment response is very meaningful," said Schuck. "In addition, the fact that parents of the children who were in the CAI group reported significantly fewer problem behaviors over time than those treated without therapy dogs is further evidence of the importance of this research."
A man’s best friend: Study shows dogs can recognize human emotions -- ScienceDailyFor the first time, researchers have shown that dogs must form abstract mental representations of positive and negative emotional states, and are not simply displaying learned behaviours when responding to the expressions of people and other dogs.
Animals and fairnessAt a canine research centre at Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest, for example, dogs frequently chosen to take part in tests are shunned by other dogs. It turns out that all the dogs want to take part in these tests because they receive human attention; those which are chosen too often are seen as having got unfair advantage. Capuchin monkeys taking part in experiments keep track of the rewards they are getting. If one is offered a poor reward (such as a slice of cucumber), while another gets a tasty grape, the first will refuse to continue the test. Chimpanzees do this, too.
Dog in the jungleA Swedish extreme adventure team racing through Ecuador's Amazon rainforest ran into an unexpected companion: a badass stray dog who followed Team Peak Performance through the final two days of a 10-day, 430-mile course of extreme pain and extreme suffering. They fed him a meatball and sent him on his way, but he didn't want to leave. He stayed with them through mud and mountains
Dog day eveningOnce, when he was performing “The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel,” the first play in David Rabe’s Vietnam trilogy, in Boston, in 1972, Pacino made a strong connection with a pair of penetrating eyes in the audience. “I remember feeling a focus I never experienced before—intense, so riveting that I directed my performance to that space,” he said. “I found at curtain call for the first time that I needed to find out who belonged to those eyes. So, as we were bowing, I looked over to the space where I believed the look was coming from and there it was, two seeing-eye dogs still looking at me. They must have found the curtain call as engaging as the performance.”
Here in my tenth decade, I can testify that the downside of great age is the room it provides for rotten news. Living long means enough already. When Harry died, Carol and I couldn’t stop weeping; we sat in the bathroom with his retrieved body on a mat between us, the light-brown patches on his back and the near-black of his ears still darkened by the rain, and passed a Kleenex box back and forth between us. Not all the tears were for him. Two months earlier, a beautiful daughter of mine, my oldest child, had ended her life, and the oceanic force and mystery of that event had not left full space for tears. Now we could cry without reserve, weep together for Harry and Callie and ourselves. Harry cut us loose.