Nov 2013

Dogs and Happiness

Dogs (pets)
: What are the different ways that dogs affect happiness?

In addition to the everyday happiness that dogs bring to their owners, they often go above and beyond in serving their fellow man.

Specially screened and trained dogs visit hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, schools, libraries and other facilities. Often they are there just to meet and greet and bring a smile. Yet other times they serve very specific purposes.

In hospitals, they may provide distraction to a patient receiving a painful treatment. In physical therapy settings they can provide the motivation for patients to move an arm or a hand, to pet or comb them or throw a ball. Not to mention seeing eye dogs and dogs trained for other very specific tasks.

I got to see the magic of dogs first hand back in 1996 when I started a program called Canines for Kids at the pediatric hospital where I work. We screened dogs and their owners from the community and organized a volunteer corp to make in hospital visits to some very sick kids.

There were times when nothing else would bring a smile. Not clowns. Not balloons. Not ball players. Not magicians. But a furry four legged animal, saying nothing but just being there worked wonders.

And thank you mom. She was the one who inspired me. It was through her that I discovered the magic.

My mom had a life long fear of dogs. As did her mom and sisters.

When I got Dreyfus, my Golden Retriever, the closest she wanted to come was waving to him from behind a closed window. Over the course of months, her fear melted away. It got to the point that if I forgot to bring him over for a visit she was pissed. People
can change.

Well, after many years of fighting breast cancer mom died in May of 1996. I knew the happiness that Dreyfus brought me, yet even more so the happiness he had brought my sick and frail mom.

That's what they do. Bring happiness.


Pet Partners Overview - Pet Partners

Therapy Dogs International

Guide Dog Foundation

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: Why are some people against administering antibiotics?



Some doctors and patients are justifiably opposed to antibiotics because they get overused and/or misused. [1]

 Not only do diseases/illnesses get mistreated as a result, but the patient can get weakened or suffer side effects, some minor, some quite serious. [2]

As well, the overuse of antibiotics in the general population added to it's epidemic use in animals is leading to a major crisis in antibiotic resistance worldwide. [3]

There are people who use antibiotics sort of like a "disk utility" for their bodies. Have a sniffle or sore throat= pop some pills. So then, maybe they ignore proper nutrition, hygiene, hydration, exercise, rest, stress reduction, and reasonable "home remedies". [4]



Of course, there are other people who are opposed to antibiotics because they are living in the middle ages. They still believe in "natural cures"
only, not understanding that while "natural" has a lot to recommend it, it has it's limitations.

Just for kicks, remember the last days of the father of our country [USA], George Washington. This was back in December 1799, some 200 years ago. Of course, Washington got state of the art care for the time.

He died from what is believed to have been a severe throat infection. A throat infection that today would likely be readily treated with the proper antibiotic. But they didn't exist back then.

Fleming didn't discover Penicillin till 1928, and it was another 10 or so years till Florey and Chain moved it into mainstream clinical use. [5]

Instead of antibiotics, Washington was bled to death.

And when his doctors weren't bleeding him, they were giving him enemas and having him gargle with "natural" concoctions of mollases, butter, and vinegar or vinegar and sage tea. [6]

He'd probably had rather been on the front line against the British than in bed at the mercy of his doctors.

Swallowing some pills wouldn't have seemed so bad. [7]


Antibiotic resistance
Popular Antibiotics May Carry Serious Side Effects
The Potential Role of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations in Infectious Disease Epidemics and Antibiotic Resistance
Antibiotics: When They Can and Can't Help
Anne Miller, 90, First Patient Who Was Saved by Penicillin
The Death of George Washington
Medscape Log In

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The Barber-Surgeon

: What are some common words whose meanings have changed a great deal over time?
From my own profession:


Back in the day, namely the middle ages, it was the Barber Surgeon who cut hair and did surgery, such as it was back then.

Barbers originally aided the clergy in the performance of medical procedures. At the Council of Tours in 1163, the clergy was banned. By the early 1300s there was a Livery company in London known as the Worshipful Company of Barbers. In addition to haircutting, responsibilities included neck manipulation, lancing of boils, extraction of teeth, leeching and enemas.

In 1540, by Act of Parliament, the Fellowship of Surgeons merged with the Company of Barbers to form the Company of Surgeons. They split in 1745.

Meanwhile, over in France, there was evidently a distinction between academic surgeons (surgeons of the long robe) and barber surgeons (surgeons of the short robe). Yet, by 1505, the barber surgeons gained admission to the University of Paris.

A relic of the past is that the British still use the title Mr., and not Doctor, for their surgeons. Another vestige of the past is the barber pole that relates to the practice of bloodletting. The red spiral evidently refers to the blood soaked bandages and those poles with blue stripes may reference the veins that were bled. The pole itself references the pole that patients gripped during the procedures, by way of pain management as well as engorging the veins. The poles also contained a basin for storing the leeches.


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