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Furry Therapists

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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.

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1956:  Three little boys reaching into a water bin of baby ducks as one of the hospital’s methods of using therapy with animals. Source:  Time Magazine

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!

Leader Dogs trained in Prison

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The History of Fabergé’s Rise & Fall with the Imperial Romanov Family, & the Natural Beauty of the Hope Diamond

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I was recently doing research into blue diamonds for a novel I’m working on; there is a ton of information out there in Cyberspace, some of it fascinating, some of it fantastical (taking a shred of historical information and running wild with theories, curses, and paranormal gibberish).  But I did find a documentary on Youtube that I thought I’d share with you:  It covers (in what initially seems like an odd mixture of topics) the late history of the Russian Romanov family, their connection with the rise and fall of the House of Fabergé, the extravagant splurges and the curse of wealth and power in the hands of those unable to manage it, and lastly (at 32:00) the history of the Hope Diamond, the largest blue diamond in the world, and the second-largest crowd magnet following the Mona Lisa.  The topics transition from exquisite craftsmanship to natural beauty, and though the video is nearly an hour, it is well worth watching!  To view it, please click on the family portrait below.

Romanov Imperial FamilyFaberge Coronation Egg, 1897Faberge-Egg-1911Hope Diamond

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