Recently in Animal Assisted Interactions Category

Animals truly do heal

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I came across this video of dogs and cats visiting the elderly and sick in the hospital. I thought it was awesome to see the smiles on the faces of the patients when they were greeted by the animals. The elderly often get very lonely in nursing homes and hospitals. So, I think it's great that these animals can be used to brighten up their day!

Animals are family members, too.

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Animals are a lot things to people. They help assist humans during therapy and every day life. They are part of the family for many and during tough times they are never forgotten and reunited to those that have lost their many possessions. During Hurricane Sandy, The Humane Society rescued a ton of animals and this is the reason why animals have become so important to us over the centuries.

the wonder dog

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Here is an article that sums up the healing power of partnering with animals - in this case a dog. Every time I read it, I am blown away. I hope you can take a few moment and read it too.

Wonder Dog

Animal Assisted Interactions

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I found this link through the ASPCA website for certification for Animal Assisted Therapy programs and though I would post it here! Its great to see an organization so large helping to make these kinds of therapy possible. They mention bringing pets to nursing homes, hospitals, and classrooms to integrate these with the community for the betterment of all.
ASPCA website

Animal-Assisted Interactions


In keeping with the theme of the previous blog postings for the week, I wanted to post a video of animal-assisted therapy that utilizes animals other than dogs. The quality is not the greatest.

Here is one of a therapy duck:

Also, I was curious about the historical uses of animals within different medical facilities and stumbled upon these pictures taken by Francis Miller for Life Magazine in the 1950's. I was unable to find any other information about the use of animals within this hospital, but I thought the pictures were great! More images from this facility can be found Life photo archive hosted by

Francis Miller Life Michigan US September 1956.jpg

Miller, F. "Animal therapy Michigan Hospital". Photo. Sept. 1956. Retrieved 31 March 2013.

Creature Comforts

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This article is for you Mageen - it is all about the "other" special animals that bring healing to people

Creature Comforts

Here is another one featuring our very own Tanya Bailey and her therapy chicken 'Woodstock'

Animal Magetism

The Nature Heals Conference

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Hi all,
I got to meet Jeannie in person(an experience I'd highly recommend) at the conference at the arboretum a couple weeks back, and she asked if I'd post my impressions here. Though I only saw the last half, it was a wonderful experience. I was struck by the enthusiasm- the event was filled, and it was easy to feel how excited people were about the subject matter. There is definitely a real world interest in what we've been studying online! I struck up conversations with people sitting on either side of me and had lunch with a group of women I'd never met and felt right at home, everyone had interesting stories to tell about why they had come. I'm often sort of a quiet person so I think it says a lot about the event and how much camaraderie it fostered. I especially enjoyed the Theater for Public Policy who ad-libbed skits from an interview with Meg Olmert. They had a lot of fun with the oxytocin studies!
I noted that the arboretum hosts quite a few classes, and also that the annual horticultural therapy convention will be in Minneapolis this September if anyone is interested in that. Also, the arboretum is simply a lovely place to be.

Alpaca-assisted Interactions


The quality of this video is not amazing, for which I apologize, but I liked it because I like alpacas! I also am the type of person who likes the smell of a farm which, as my Los Angeleno husband likes to point out to me, is the smell of poo. However, if you wanted to please me, you'd let me pet a dog. If you REALLY wanted to rock my world, however, you'd find me a cow or a goat alpaca!! My point is that dogs are really great, but I see them all the time, and kind of take them for granted, wonderful friends as they are. However, if you needed a technique to really get my attention, focus me, or even interest me outside of my normal routine, an alpaca would do the trick. So the research question that I pulled out of the topic's readings, and that naturally occurs to me when thinking about me and mine and the opportunities for integrating animal assisted therapy is not really ground-breaking - I wonder about how the effects would vary when using different kinds of animals, and, as another step, if the setting for the interaction matters. I say this because dogs can go all kinds of wonderful places that alpaca can't - I saw information on dogs in hospitals, assisted living homes, and so on - and that would be awkward for a farm animal, to say the least. On the other hand, I could see how the process of removing someone out of their natural setting and going on an adventure could be really great as a dimension of therapy - I know that my kids, for a close-to-home example, are far more functional human beings after some novel fresh air. It seems like that could either be a complicating feature, or a very helpful feature. So I guess that's a two-pronged research question, but there you have it!

Wind map

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A beautiful way to see the wind. (I had to share it because it's so neat) (Scroll down and click on the you tube Wind Map video).
"Seeing Only Wind Gods Get To See"

Angela Kariniemi Animal Assisted Interactions

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Hi everyone,
Our readings on Animal Assisted Interactions focus on the different ways that animals can benefit humans. But what can we do to make our pets (dogs in this case) happy? Playing a few tracks from the canine music album created and tested for dogs might do the trick. You can listen to a few of the tracks and test them out on your dog at this website. Happy listening! "Pet Sounds: Album targets music loving dogs".

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This page is an archive of recent entries in the Animal Assisted Interactions category.

Care Farming is the next category.

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