As an intern, it's my job to update the events calender on the Downtown Boulder website. As a result, I come across many interesting things that I wouldn't have known about if it weren't for this job. One of the coolest events? Read to the Dog, a chance for readers to build their confidence levels at the Boulder Public Library on Arapahoe. On various Thursdays, the library has certified therapy dogs come in and settle down for some quality reading time. The public is encouraged to come in and practice reading aloud to these non-judgmental companions. How cute is that? Not only are therapy dogs angels sent from heaven, studies show that human/animal interaction actually lowers blood pressure and heart rate.
Other benefits of dog interaction include:
- Children who have dogs tend to be more self-reliant, sociable, and less selfish than children without pets.
- Elderly people with dogs are better able than non-pet-owning elderly people to cope with daily activities.
- Owning a dog gives isolated people a routine, a sense of purpose, and a sense of fulfillment that helps prevent depression and loneliness.
- Stroking and patting a dog can be relaxing, which is measured by a slower heart rate and a drop in blood pressure.
- Owning a dog can help reduce the risk of asthma.
- Dog owners are more likely to survive heart attacks than non-pet owners are.
- The presence of a dog can ease the effects of Alzheimer's.
- People with dogs have been found to have lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels when compared to people who do not.
You all know how much I love my dog, Sunday. Although I don't think she could ever become a certified therapy dog (she hates, and I mean run for the hills, I'm going to die, hates, loud noises), she definitely qualifies as my psychologist, reminding me that most of the time a walk and a kiss can fix any bad situation.
Also, as a tribute, one Sunday's friends, Lucy, a 4 year old Golden Retriever, passed away this weekend in an accident involving a hot car. Lucy was a bold and adventurous pup who loved to hike Loveland Pass in the snow and fetch sticks from Boulder Creek in the summer. So please, even if you parked in the shade, don't leave your dog in the car. Brain damage and suffocation can occur within minutes, even if the temperature outside is only in the 60's. The sun's rays are intense in Boulder. It's not worth the risk.
Cheers to Lou Dog, and cheers to the amazing dogs at the library. The next Read to the Dog event is Thursday August 12th at 11am.