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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Fido's No Doctor And Neither Is The Cat

Or so says an interesting opinion piece in today's New York Times. Written by Hal Herzog, a professor of psychology at Western Carolina University and author of the well-received book, Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It's So Hard To Think Straight About Animals, the piece contends that there's really no valid scientific studies that demonstrate that having a companion animal actually helps humans prevent or recover from physical or psychological illnesses.

Herzog acknowledges that this opinion flies in the face of numerous other studies and books on the matter, but says: "Don't get me wrong, I don't mean to disparage animal companionship; pets are central to my life too. But the truth is that we know little about how pets could affect us biologically, or why a health benefit accrues to some people, but not others. Answering these questions will require the same rigorous methods that scientists use to to test the effectiveness of drugs and medical procedures."

Enjoy reading the full article here: www.nytimes.com/2011/01/04/opinion/04herzog.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=Hal%20Herzog%20%20Fido's%20No%20Doctor&st=cse

You know, this article really made me think.  I've heard Parental Unit say many times that I am "the love of her life" (she's never said that about the cat, Bella, by the way), but was never sure if she was joking or if her voice carried a hint of sarcasm. But I choose to believe it and that means something to me.

Why look at how happy she is when I just give her a "high ten"- and I'm the one getting the treat!

What do you all think? We'd love to know!


Kirby, CGC said...

HI Bocci!
Mom tells me the same thing, also that I'm handsome, cute, adorable and she smiles all the time while saying it. We would disagree with this article because we are firm believers that pets do have the ability to help humans through illnesses etc...

I help my mom fall asleep everynight, she no longer takes anything to help her, all I do is lay beside her and she pets me till she falls asleep...apparently I also have the ability to help her fall asleep. So just call me the handsome, goofy, lovable Mr. Sandman!

I didn't know I won the Paw Hide Puzzle from Kyjen!! YIPEEE!!! My mom says she's excited too. You can email her at ccmax@att.net.

Thanks Bocci!


NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With KhattleDog! said...



Pup Fan said...

I think that pets make us happy... and making us happy can help. Whether it's in a tangible or intangible way, I don't know. But I do know that I think it makes a difference!

Mango the Maltese kiddo said...

I believe you're the love of her life!
Like I'm the love of my mom's life!
Happy New Year Bocci!
We wish you a lovely good year filled with good health and good laugh.

Lorenza said...

My mom tells me the same all the time... and I believe it!
Kisses and hugs

Lori @ According to Gus said...

Gus makes us smile each and every day, no matter what. That definitely counts for something!

KB said...

I live with chronic pain, and I have absolutely no doubt that my dogs help keep my spirits up. They keep me moving, rather than dwelling on my pain. And, they need me... Having beings that need me to take care of them makes a world of difference in my life.

But, I do understand the article's point. Anecdotal stories are not enough to prove that having a dog in your life helps your health. Careful studies are needed that also consider whether a certain type of person tends to have dogs in their life, and whether being that "type" of person affects their health.

So, I see both sides. I see my personal experience and I see the hard-core science view.

Thanks for a thought-provoking post!

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