Canines to the rescue

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 28 July, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 July, 2009, 12:00am

Eddie is 10 years old. When he was a puppy, Eddie had a very bad time. He was locked in a cage at the live animal market in Guangzhou. He was going to be slaughtered for food. Luckily, Eddie was rescued and brought to Hong Kong.

Today Eddie is a Dr Dog. It is his job to visit people who are ill. Some people feel better just by stroking Eddie's soft coat. But being around Eddie also helps in lots of other ways.

Scientific studies show having pets is good for you. Having pets lowers your blood pressure and makes your heart more healthy. Pet owners recover better from serious illnesses. They are also less likely to be stressed or depressed.

Eddie loves his job as a Dr Dog. He is a happy dog who wants to be everyone's best friend. He adores the company of people, dogs and cats. He is also an Animals Asia ambassador who persuades people to be kinder to animals.

But Eddie still has a little bit of street dog inside him: when it's dinnertime he sneaks over to his friend the cat and tries to steal her food.

Other studies show people who walk dogs do more exercise than people who walk alone just for fitness.

So if you want more exercise but feel lazy, walk a friend's dog.

Walk the dog and get better grades

Spending all your fun time indoors playing video games? Young couch potatoes run a high risk of obesity and diabetes. But being a full-time city youth can cause other problems too.

Scientists in the US discovered that children who play indoors all the time are more likely to suffer from hyperactivity and other health issues.

They proved that going for a nature walk improves memory, concentration and school grades. Schools that have outdoor activities also have less bullying and friendlier students.

Popular Dr Dog

Any animal that is kind, patient, and friendly can be a Dr Dog. It can be a little fuzzy Shih Tzu or a rescued street dog like Eddie.

Other animals can be therapists too. There are Dr Cats, Dr Horses, Dr Elephants, Dr Birds, Dr Dolphins, Dr Rabbits, Dr Lizards, Dr Hamsters and other pets who visit the sick and the handicapped.

Using animals to help make people better is called animal-assisted therapy.

What Dr Dogs do

Dr Dogs visit hospitals, homes for the elderly and centres for the handicapped. Dr Dogs help people to:

Move and stand better

Use wheelchairs

Cheer up


Feel less lonely

Dog joke

Q: What type of markets

do dogs avoid?

A: Flea markets.

fab fact!

Animals don't care whether we're popular, rich, good-looking or clever. Pets love us when we take good care of them and spend time with them