Carl Icahn, hostile takeover master who was THE original corporate raider, is often quoted as saying, "In this business, if you want a friend, get a dog!" The rest of us already knew that dog was man's best friend, and with good reason. Dogs as pets date back at least as far as days of Pompeii, where remains of a dog stretched out next to a little boy were recovered from rubble at Pompeii.
We all know that dogs are cute, warm, and cuddly, requiring little more than food, water, shelter and affection to return unwavering devotion. Dogs have earned their rightful place as a family member. In fact, what family portrait is complete without family canine?
Dogs earned their place of prominence years ago among their blind and deaf owners and in local, state, federal and international law enforcement. Hint: be sure to rid your coat pockets of doggie biscuits next time you travel, unless you want to be attacked by a drug and bomb-sniffing dog.
A quick glance through amazing true stories ripped from headlines below demonstrates that dogs may never fall from their pedestal as man's best friend! While it's true that we must do for dogs what they cannot do for themselves, have a look at things that dogs have done for us that we could not or did not want to do for ourselves.
Dogs CAN smell cancer
On September 24, 2004, Associated Press reported that first scientific experiment to prove what has long been suspectedóthat dogs can smell cancerówas successful. A dog's sense of smell is far superior to that of a human's: 10,000 to 100,000 times better. The results of study appeared in British Medical Journal. The study proved that dogs could indeed smell cancer. What remains to be determined is whether dogs can effectively communicate presence of cancer. What's most promising is that dogs may well be able to detect presence of cancer before high-tech medical testing.
Dogs help seniors live longer
In 1999, a study reported in Journal of American Geriatrics concluded what many have known intuitively and anecdotally for a long time: seniors with pets live longer and fuller lives both physically and mentally. Once again, science proves common sense. Dogs require walking. Active seniors with pets have lower blood pressure, visit their doctors less frequently, require hospitalization less frequently and when they are hospitalized, duration is shorter. Assisted living facilities and nursing homes have moved almost en masse to allowing visiting pets or housing a resident pet for their residents. The Delta Pet Partner certifies pets to visit nursing homes and hospice facilities. If you have an elderly parent, consider giving gift of life, a companion dog.