While dogs have been assisting humans as far back as our ancestry dates us, the role dogs play in our lives is ever evolving. From guard dogs, to herders, to hunters, to companions—the working dog has worn many hats. More recently, doctors, scientists, and researchers have noted one particular skill dogs have beyond their keen sense of smell and acute hearing: their ability to comfort.

Animal therapy, though used for a number of years, is becoming increasingly popular. Because of their social skills and companion qualities, dogs are participating therapeutic human health. Similar to how therapy dogs comfort patients in hospitals and nursing homes, a new age of dog therapy is emerging in which dogs play an active role in therapy, counseling, and psychiatric offices.

Some psychiatrists believe the wagging of a tail does wonders for soothing, comforting, and cheering up their patients—a belief backed up by numerous research studies that suggest the same thing. A few minutes of petting a dog can reduce cortisol, the stress hormone, and can increase hormones that improve mood such as prolactin and oxytocin.

Rebecca Johnson, a teacher of a animal-human interaction course at the University of Missouri who was referenced in an article “The Doctor’s Dog Will See You Now”, said (regarding the effects of human/canine interaction), “It’s chemical, not magical.” Well, we happen to think it is a bit magical, too!

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  1. I have seen the above pictured bed in numerous ruff wear ads. It is not on the website and I do not remember seeing it in any stores? What is the story behind this bed?

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