Browsing "Human-Animal Bond"

Veterans Day and Equine Therapy

Have you ever wondered about the animals who work for our military veterans? No better time to ask this question than Veterans Day! There are, of course, dogs – therapy dogs and service dogs, most often – but there are also cats, birds, reptiles, and, in the case of this story, horses.

For some veterans suffering the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), spending time brushing, leading, and riding horses is a fantastic way to clear their heads while reducing anxiety and depression. A horse (like many domestic animals) can also help alleviate feelings of isolation. It is no exaggeration to say that for some people, this is the activity they most look forward to each week (the horses get treated pretty nicely, too). It was seeing reports of successful horse therapy programs throughout the country that inspired Virginia’s Copper Crest Farm to start a therapy program for veterans. And so far, it has been a tremendous help for those who have taken part in it.

The horse therapy program described in this article charges only a small fee, but its service is invaluable. It is also just one of many throughout the country – there may be one near you!

Resources
★     Equine therapy and other equine programs for military veterans & families
★     What Is Equine Therapy and Equine-Assisted Therapy?

Feb 14, 2018 - Human-Animal Bond    No Comments

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day! At a time when the news and online sources expose one example after another of hypocrisy, wolves in sheep’s clothing, and corrupt animal welfare organizations, we are proud that you recognize our integrity and dedication to animals and to you, the people who care for them.

NAIA is an organization of individuals from diverse backgrounds and regions of our nation. Some are pet owners. Others are dog, cat, bird, or horse breeders, working to preserve their breeds. Still others may be animal professionals or sportsmen.

What unites us is our common love of animals, the value we place on the human-animal bond, and the importance of animals in our lives. We are committed to protecting our domestic animals and assuring that they will be here for future generations.

As a trusted educational resource for the public, we gather research and share facts and expertise, giving people the ability to make up their own minds about issues and policies affecting animals. Our goal is to help, not to impose dogma. We share knowledge, respect differences, and lead with head AND heart!

Thank you again for being supportive of our work!

Support NAIA Today!

 

Congrats, Kate!

Congratulations to Kate Eldredge, dog writer extraordinaire and contributor to NAIA’s Discover Animals, for winning the AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Public Service Award with her article The First 24 Hours with Your New Dog. Not only is her piece a great little read, it is full of helpful advice that lays the groundwork for a happy, lifelong bond with your dog. Hard to beat that combo!

Way to go, Kate, and to all of the Dog Writers Association of America nominees and winners.

 

 

 

 

A Little More on Service Dogs…

On Friday, we mentioned that Wyoming is considering a bill to make misrepresenting a service animal a misdemeanor, a law that is no doubt simple common sense for many. Then, like clockwork, the story of Patsy Hayes and her latex-detection dog, Andromeda popped up the next day. Patsy Hayes is severely allergic to latex, and Andromeda lets her know latex is nearby, in order to steer clear of it. This story is a timely reminder of the value of service dogs, and of the varied, perhaps unexpected services they can perform.

The word “allergy” conjures up images of swollen eyes, dripping noses, maybe a rash — and in most cases, that is the extent of an allergic reaction. But anaphylaxis, Patsy’s reaction to latex, is far more severe: it can be life-threatening and brought on by extremely low levels of exposure.

Living with severe allergies can be extremely life-limiting, but a detection dog can help to open doors:

Years of training dogs to detect explosives and narcotics for the U.S. military and law enforcement agencies led Gavin to branch out in 2009 and focus on teaching dogs to detect an array of compounds — including nuts, milk, wheat, eggs and soy — that create serious allergic reactions in her clients.

Some of the afflicted, she said, rarely left their homes, didn’t go to school or movies, parks or churches — or even visit friends — out of fear of an allergy attack.

“But after getting a dog,” Gavin said, “they would start going places.”

Not the service dog of yesteryear, but a valuable job indeed!

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Service Dog! Canine Companions for Independence

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Mar 29, 2016 - Human-Animal Bond    No Comments

Healing Horses

In a very cool story out of Mississippi, horses are a source of healing for veterans.

Oak View Stables, partnering with the VA, allows military veterans — some without any prior hands-on experience — to a groom, handle, and ride their horses; interactions that not only create a bond between veteran and horse, but have the power to heal:

“Animals have a healing power. They don’t judge. They listen. They’re gentle giants,” said Jeremiah Shields, Army veteran.

Very true.

Dogs so often take the spotlight when it comes to the realms of work, therapy, service, or simply companionship; it can be easy to forget the importance of horses and the amazing bond we share with them… but it is always great to be reminded!

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Guard Birds: Drone Edition

Check out this video of a raptor taking out a drone:

Video provided by a Dutch company, Guard from Above, that has partnered with police to train these birds to disable drones.

While the idea of a bald eagle squadron guarding the white house may be far-fetched, if the technique can be perfected, we agree with the company’s founder that this is a very cool “low-tech solution for a high-tech problem!”

 

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Oct 26, 2015 - Human-Animal Bond    1 Comment

NAIA President Wins AKC Lifetime Achievement Reward

Congratulations to NAIA President and co-founder Patti Strand for receiving a 2016 AKC Lifetime Achievement Award in the category of conformation!

AKC ANNOUNCES 2016 LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS RECIPIENTS

A lifelong dog lover with 46 years experience breeding Dalmatians — a line known for its good health and temperaments — the recognition is a great honor, and a testament to the huge, hands-on role animals play in the lives of the people who make up NAIA!

 

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Circa 1972

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Merry-Go-Round Coachmaster, Multiple Best in Show Winner, and one of the sweetest dogs you will ever meet!

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Patti Strand at an NAIA Conference

A well-trained dog is a happy dog!

We always try to head off for the weekend on a positive note, but it’s rare we find something that makes us smile this much

Yes, it’s a tale as old as time itself: retired farmer takes in homeless dogs, welds together wheel and barrel, ties together and fills with dogs, then pulls with tractor for a trip to the local creek.

You know — the usual!

So what are your plans when you retire?

 

Jul 31, 2015 - Human-Animal Bond    1 Comment

A Great Pairing

Reading this NY Times article on pairing prison inmates up with bomb-sniffing dogs in training, it is hard not to be struck by the reciprocity. Everybody is getting something positive. The inmates give the dogs loads of attention and training, and show higher morale with a “virtually nonexistent” incident rate. The dogs show more maturity and greater endurance. Everybody gets something out of it, and not just on a practical level: inmates receive experience as responsible citizens, perhaps a sense of atonement, while, if you follow the M.R.I. results, the dogs perceive much of the experience — at least the learned odor portion — as one giant reward!

As inspiring as programs like this are, they are but one of the many ways humans and animals make each other stronger, happier — or just plain better every day. I know it’s the end of the week and brains are tired, but how many can you think of off the top of your head?

 

Jet

Project POOCH, founded in 1993, is the first program of its kind for youth offenders. Youth in corrections care for and train shelter dogs for adoption, positively transforming both in the process. This happy guy is Jet, who after months of love, attention, and hard work with his youth trainer is now a Canine Good Citizen, living in his forever home.

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