Close Encounters of the Animal Kind – Books for Lunch 2019
A review by Robin Kiley:
- Personal interactions with our pets has a demonstrable stress reducing, health benefit to humans by producing optimal levels of oxytocin. This neuropeptide which exists in human brains is produced from close human to human relationships and also in human-animal interactions. Oxytocin can slow heart rate and breathing, quiet blood pressure, and inhibit stress hormones creating a sense of calm, comfort and focus. Levels of beta-endorphins and dopamine are also elevated by peoples’ interactions with their dogs.
- Have you ever wondered why your dog likes to smell and mark random tires? “Cars are the internet for dogs, and tires are their social media.” Dogs are most interested in what other dogs have to say in the scents they leave behind. Tires travel vast distances and allow dogs to read other dogs’ messages from faraway places. I can personally attest to my dogs reading and leaving messages on visiting automobile tires.
- Dogs are pack animals and youngsters learn best by observing their elders. While it would take a human months to housetrain a younger dog, an elder dog can teach in hours of interaction. The best teachers for young dogs are adult dogs.
- Insects have been scientifically observed to express anger, terror, jealousy and love. Scientists have shown that dopamine, the neurotransmitter associated with reward and motivation centers in the brain, exists in insects and scientists have taught bumblebees how to pull a string to access sugar water in controlled experiments.
Sy Montgomery visits our Hillsdale Campus on Friday, Feb. 8, 2019, to talk with Seven Hills students and faculty in the morning. At noon she will speak to Seven Hills parents and the Cincinnati community at the Parent Association’s Luncheon at Xavier University’s Cintas Center. Luncheon Tickets to hear Sy Montgomery are available here.