Monday, 7 May 2012
All in the mind
Dogs do many things to help people. Physiological measures show that petting a calm and friendly dog actually reduces stress ( reduced muscle tension, more regular breathing and a slower heart rate). It has been said that people who own dogs are likely to live longer and require less medical attention.
Dogs can also assist in psychotherapy. Sigmund Freud felt that dogs had a special sense that allows them to judge a person's character accurately. For this reason his favourite chow-chow, Jo-Fi, attended all of his therapy sessions. Freud admitted that he often depended upon Jo-Fi for an assessment of the patient's mental state. He also felt that the presence of the dog seemed to have a calming influence on all patients, particularly children.