Today is National Dog Day. Yep, you read that correctly: National Dog Day. Today we officially celebrate our best friends. My little dog, Lexie, is worthy of this national day of recognition. She goes to work every day as a therapy/comfort dog in an assisted living facility and spends her days hanging out with the residents and generally being adorable. Lexie is a small, mixed breed rescue mutt who has been going to work every day since she was 8 weeks old. She is especially good with dementia patients. She is calm and sweet with them and loves to sit on their laps. Often these folks don't communicate well with humans, but somehow they respond to Lexie.
There have been plenty of studies about the calming effects of pets. Seems that the level of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress, is lowered after a few minutes with a pet. Reducing stress is a good thing for all of us! Reducing stress, lowering blood pressure, helping with depression-- all side effects of being around pets.
So here's to our four-legged friends! I am grateful that my dog, Lexie, helps with the quality of life for so many people. She certainly helps mine. Happy National Dog Day!