Man’s Best Friend – The Good List!
Do you absolutely love dogs and think they are your best pals? Are you a dog-lover who can’t ever think of separating from your ‘woof-woof’ friend? We all know that dogs are more than just man’s best friend – these lovely, loyal pets are friends with benefits! If you agree with this statement, then here are some interesting trivia about dogs – how they help to make our lives longer, safer and healthier! Read on to know how they are beneficial to us!
Search and Rescue – Mission to Save!
When any disaster strikes, daring search-and-rescue canines are never far too behind! For instance, post-9/11 terrorist attacks, the canine team helped to search and rescue more than 350 individuals at the Pentagon and the World Trade Center.
According to Pluis Davern, a long-time dog trainer, a search-and-rescue dog requires enough drive and motivation to go out on his or her own and search an individual. Also, if the trainer tells the dog to stop and come back, he or she has to follow the trainer’s command as well.
Pluis Davern is the main dog trainer for the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation. This foundation rescues dogs from shelters and converts them into search-and-rescue dogs certified from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. She trains these dogs at Sundowner Training Kennels located in Gilroy, California. After the training, these specialized dogs are given to first responders, such as firefighters.
While training dogs, Davern rewards them with tug of war games instead of giving them treats. She says that these dogs look for the person who is going to play with them in practice situations. She says that search-and-rescue dogs are not rescuing people in “real-life situations”. The dogs are actually enthusiastic and excited to find the individual who they think has the toy!
Sniffing Cancer – The Natural ‘Canine’ Detectors!
Here is a catch! The same nifty sniffers who are trained to find an individual trapped under a pile of rubble can also be trained to sniff cancer in an individual’s stool or breath! According to a study report published in January in Japan, a carefully trained Labrador retriever tested more than 300 samples, out of which 48 volunteers were diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
The trained dog was correct and precise 95% of the time while detecting the cancer patients from their breath samples. Also, the dog was correct 98% of the time while detecting the cancer patients from checking out stool samples. Apart from this finding, trained dogs have been successful in detecting ovarian, breast, lung, bladder cancer and melanoma in earlier studies.
If seen from a practical point of view, it hardly seems that canine cancer screeners will actually ever be used on a large scale. It takes a lot of effort and time to train one dog to sniff up snuff. On the contrary, researchers are hoping to figure out what exactly the canine detect and then gradually develop a machine that can detect the same compound.
Cancer Research – A New Insight!
Here is another surprise! These wonderful creatures not only help detect and diagnose cancer, they can someday even help to cure cancer! Seems unbelievable? Well, here is positive insight. Several scientists perceive the study of cancers in dogs as a promising, novel way to learn more about cancer in humans. In reality, the National Cancer Institute actually has a Comparative Oncology Program which promotes interchanges between human and canine cancer research.
Many scientists think that dogs are much better models to study cancer development than mice, which are the typical research models, as dogs are much closer to our size. Also, dogs too, unfortunately, develop tumors naturally just like us (when it comes to mice, scientists have to make the tumors grow artificially).
Apart from these factors, most often the manifestation of cancers in both dogs and humans share a similar behavior and biology. Also, both respond in similar fashion to conventional cancer treatment.
Precisely because it may work wonders for humans as well, more in-depth cancer research is being done right now in dogs. However, it can work wonders for the canines too – making it a win-win situation for both dogs and humans! Currently, the research is oriented only on pet dogs who have been screened and diagnosed with cancer.
Most often, the pet owners select to enroll their canines in a study as the standard treatments have failed. Hence, they believe that experimental treatment is their last chance to save their beloved canine’s life. In some cases, the treatment works. However, even when the treatment is not successful, pet owners take comfort in knowing that what the researchers are learning in the process may help other canines – and other pet owners – down the road.
Predicting Earthquakes – Natural ‘Canine’ Warning Mechanisms!
We all know that canines can hear things which we fail to hear and even smell things which we can’t smell. But do you think that they can even sense things which we don’t sense that lets them know an earthquake is on the way? Well, this theory has been existence for nearly 2,000 years now! However, real evidence to prove this theory is a little shaky.
Whatever the facts state, we can’t deny one fact – dogs are truly man’s best friend and they fill our lives with joy and happiness. They are positive source of happiness and belongingness. All the above-mentioned benefits are the bonus points even though they might still need more in-depth research to prove and substantiate the benefits.
If you love these loyal creatures, then you will understand the sentiments of Milan Kundera, “Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know discontent or jealousy or evil. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring–it was peace.”