The phrase “man’s best friend” brings up dozens of fond memories, from my first dog, a Dalmatian named Kayla, to my current pup, a little Maltese-Poodle, Loki. Although Loki is not an emotional support animal, whose services to their owners are immense and incredible, he has served as a wonderful companion and brings me immeasurable joy. It turns out, science has proven that friendly, familiar dogs can reduce stress by lowering blood pressure, slowing heart rates, regularizing breathing patterns, and relaxing muscles. Interaction with a furry friend can have measurable changes to blood chemistry, actively combatting the creation of stress related hormones (AND these beneficial effects work faster than medication). Further, the bond created between a dog and its owner(s) can serve as social support, decreasing the risk for depression and anxiety as well as physical illnesses. The affection provided by a pet can also alleviate loneliness – which I can speak to personally, as my husband is often away due to his military service – and increase life satisfaction.
CMC brings dogs and puppies to campus during finals – but with the scientifically proven benefits of interacting friendly four legged pals, the administration might want to consider implementing additional programs. Since many of the finals week dogs are brought by local families, and many professors have dogs, creating a program where people bring their dogs to campus for a walk, a game of fetch, or a play in the fountains would only require organization. The benefit to students could be substantial, and many dogs would welcome the chance for extra play time!
#walkmewednesday #throwtheballthursday #fountainfetchfriday