Health

Dogs may be able to help people suffering from Alzheimer's

Dog therapy can help kids with developmental delays — and perhaps people with Alzheimer's too.

Top Paw Bella Dog Bowl Petsmart

Top Paw Bella dog bowl, Petsmart.

If you’re not a dog person then these two videos may make you reconsider your position. If you are a dog lover, however, then they will only confirm what you’ve always known: Dogs possess the preternatural ability to unlock some sacred, undiscovered chamber in the human heart.

This video on The Mighty shows a short clip of 11-year-old Cory Gould at a Dog Show (Gould is such a compelling case for dogs as a form of therapy for kids dealing with developmental delays that someone decided to make a film about him. The clip is from a short documentary on Gould called For the Love of Dogs.) Gould suffers from Asperger syndrome, a form of autism that can result in delayed social development and coordination issues, among other symptoms.

A bright kid, Gould has a passion for dogs, an encyclopedic knowledge of breeds and near-perfect recall when it comes to citing the achievements of some of the champion canines present.

His passion for dogs serves him in many ways. With the dogs, he appears to experience the sensation of acceptance and affection that every dog lover knows so well, and with human beings his knowledge of dogs bridges the social gap, giving him something to share. 

But dogs don’t just help kids that are struggling. They also may prove to be something of a life raft for seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s disease (via Huffington Post). Blogger Lisa Abeyta, whose father suffers from the degenerative affliction, posted a blog about how her father miraculously appears to be able to recover some semblance of his old personality in the presence of his dogs. With dogs he’s able to speak and to enjoy a moment of connection.

Recently she marvelled at the effect her own dog, Roscoe, had on her father. See the poignant video below. (Have a Kleenex handy.)

After viewing the short clip, you may just want to call your parents and tell them how much you love them —after you give your dog a big hug.

FILED UNDER: