It’s long been accepted that animals play an integral role in the overall well-being of humans. One would be tempted to say that the significance of animal-human interaction is a modern discovery, and it may well be in the sense of measurable data, as science can monitor the changes in a heart rate (if you want a really science-y report, click here), though anyone who owns a cat can tell you that stroking a purring cat is calming. But from the time that man domesticated wild dogs and wolves to become a vital part of their daily lives in hunting, protection and companionship, animals have been prevalent. However, as hunting and gathering gave way to farming homesteads, which gave way eventually to urban development as the predominant habitation of modern man (particularly in western societies), we began to lose touch with just how important animals are to us.
Now, hospitals, nursing homes, universities, and even prisons have begun to rediscover the rehabilitating effects of furry therapists. More recently, a VA hospital in Los Angeles, California has recognised the effects of animals on PTSD sufferers; yet they’ve gone a step farther: They’ve paired PTSD birds with their human counterparts.
Please click on the links to watch videos of amazing work being done with and for animals; that both species benefit from the interaction is more than evident, and will make you smile!