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November 16, 2016

Therapy dogs relieve Capitol Hill post-election stress

No doubt, your favorite furry friend helped relieve some of the post-election stress. Luckily, the folks on Capitol Hill were able to do the same. The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative, Pet Partners, the Pet Leadership Council, and the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council teamed up to bring therapy dogs to help Capitol Hill staffers on Nov. 9. The dogs helped staffers relieve stress, cheer up, and find comfort, reported Roll Call, a news source on Capitol Hill.

June 22, 2016

Take Your Dog to Work Day is June 24

The next time your clients come in stressed out from work, suggest they take their dogs to the job with them. And tomorrow, June 24, “Take Your Dog to Work Day,” is the perfect opportunity for that. This form of “dog therapy” isn’t just for fun, either. It’s serious business. In fact, a study conducted by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va., concluded that workers’ stress levels declined when dogs were present. The study was published in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management in 2008.

February 11, 2016

How to recognize employees this Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is about letting people know they are special and that includes employees. This week is your opportunity to do just that, and there are lots of simple ways, as a recent survey suggests. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) asked its LinkedIn membership how they say “thanks” to employees for a job well done. The list, published Nov. 1, 2015, included simple ways to show you care, many of which can be implemented in time for this Valentine’s Day.

February 03, 2016

White giraffe spotted in Tanzania

If winter weather has you longing for a vacation to a land of sun and exotic animals, you might consider heading to Tanzania. Wild Nature Institute (WNI), a New Hampshire-based wildlife research group, recently cited a leucistic Masai giraffe in the Tarangire National Park in Babati, Tanzania, WNI reported on its blog on Jan. 19. The pale giraffe was originally cited last year when a calf.

December 23, 2015

Santa's canine helpers: now at an airport near you

Air travel is stressful, especially at this time of year and especially if you’re packing up the entire family. One airline is changing that by introducing Santa’s canine helpers at select airports. On Dec. 21, United Airlines announced that it is once again offering a unique Christmas program, United Paws, this time at its airports in Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark, and Washington/Dulles. It is deploying 200 dogs and their handlers, reported the Los Angeles Times.

November 12, 2015

Cat painting sells for $826,000

Pet owners often stand solidly in one of two courts—cats or dogs—and today, their passion floods the Internet. In 1891, when images could not “go viral,” that passion still existed, especially for one wealthy American philanthropist, art collector, and animal lover. Kate Birdsall Johnson loved her cats, and she had that love captured on canvas, apparently, it appears, for future generations to appreciate. The painting, My Wife’s Lovers, a 6-by-8½-foot oil painting weighing in at a hefty 227 pounds, was sold at Sotheby’s on Nov. 4 for $826,000 to an anonymous California buyer, reported The History Blog. The sales price was triple the estimated selling price.

October 22, 2015

Skewer-swallowing dog wins Hambone Award®

A Persian cat who ate three feet of packaging tape. A miniature dachshund that fended off a rattlesnake. A skewer-swallowing boxer. It was a tough choice but the votes are in. On Oct. 7, Nationwide Pet Insurance awarded Curtis, a five year old boxer from Princeton, W. Va., the Hambone Award®, honoring the most unusual pet insurance claim of the year. Curtis will receive the award and a gift bag. The Virginia College of Veterinary Medicine, who treated Curtis, will receive $10,000 to treat pets whose owners could not otherwise afford treatment.

August 20, 2015

Wild cats had a negative impact on ancient dog species

Are cats more skilled at getting what they want than dogs? A new study suggests that at least in ancient times, that may have been true. Researchers from the Universities of Gothenburg (Sweden), São Paulo (Brazil) and Lausanne (Switzerland) studied over 2000 North American fossils and concluded that felids (wild cats) who migrated from Asia into North America spelled doom on the diversity of the dog family. They contributed to the extinction of up to 40 dog species. The findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) on May 30.

July 29, 2015

Pet carriers, crash tests, and animal airline miles

Summer travels include road trips and air travel, often with pets in tow. But just how safe is Fido in that carrier? Given that the pet carrier industry is unregulated, a partnership between the Center for Pet Safety and Subaru of America sought to find out. The results of their study, released on July 24, identified the three top pet carriers and crates, and debunked some myths about other carrier products.

July 09, 2015

Animal-assisted therapy includes unusual partners

Pigs and horses and chickens, oh my. That seems to be part of the animal-assisted therapy (AAT) equation today for Alzheimer's and dementia patients. They number 5.3 million in the United States, cost taxpayers $226 billion, and result in high caregiver burnout, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. But two pot-bellied pigs, a miniature horse, and a chicken named Clementine are helping.

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