HE children are now back to school and the long carefree days of the summer holidays are over. All too soon it will be Christmas, sorry to remind you this early in the year. If you are anything like me, stress levels will now start to rise as the pressure mounts towards December, the evenings draw in, we feel the days are getting shorter and we are running out of time. So maybe now is a good time to remind you of the benefits of pet owning on stress levels. The study of the human-animal bond (more correctly the humannonhuman animal bond) is Anthrozoology and a huge amount of research is now available to prove the benefits. For those of us who already have pets, we can understand the feeling of reaching out to stroke them, talk to them, playing and taking out for a walk. It gives us a sense of comfort and well-being and acceptance. We often do this subconsciously, but do we know why it is working wonders for our mental health? Interacting with our pet can lower levels of the stress hormone, Cortisol. It also has an effect and increases other hormones in our body, Oxytocin and Endorphins give us a sense of happiness and well-being, Dopamine gives us more energy and Phenyalanine can make us feel elated. An added bonus is that
Police release CCTV image of two men
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pet ownership can generally improve our mood and lower our blood pressure. In research with a group of 48 New York stock brokers half agreed to have a pet cat or dog and half had no pet. Those with the pets had lower blood pressure and were better able to cope in stressful situations. If it can work for a NY stockbroker then think what it can do for us? Pets can also motivate us to exercise and have an improved level of fitness, which reduces both stress and depression. These beneficial effects are seen across the ages from children to the elderly and not only with cats and dogs, smaller pets like rabbits and rodents can also be important. You do not need to even own a pet to get some positive interaction, the charity PAT (Pets as Therapy) was set up to provide therapeutic visits to hospices, hospitals, care homes and special needs schools. Any dog (and sometimes cats as well) can join PAT as a volunteer, if you have a friendly dog and you want to share him or her do consider joining them. So, pet owning public, please spread the word to our non-pet friends who may be in need of stress busting, meanwhile I’m off for a therapeutic walk with Lulu…
Animal Health Centre Gloucester Road’s Independent Veterinary Practice 358 Gloucester Road, Horfield, Bristol BS7 8TP 0117 9247832 www.animalhealthcentre.org
POLICE have released a CCTV image of two men who may have information relating to a collision which killed Bishopston resident, Dan Hickey. The 25-year-old rugby player was found by a member of the public in Gordon Road, Clifton at around 6.45am on August 29. He had suffered multiple injuries, consistent with being involved in a collision. The two men that police are trying to identify – both with short dark hair and wearing t-shirts – were seen on CCTV footage outside the Richmond Pub in Gordon Road at 4.52am. Detectives investigating the case believe the incident happened between 4.30am and 5.30am. Tributes to Mr Hickey, who played for Bristol Saracens, have been pouring in since his tragic death. Friends and family have described him as “true gentleman” who was “kind
Dan Hickey hearted” and had an “infectious presence”. Tayo Jones, 22, from Southville Road in Southville, has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving, failing to stop after the accident, failing to report the accident, and driving without a licence or insurance. Jones has been remanded in custody until a hearing at Bristol Crown Court on October 1. If you have any information relating to the men in the CCTV image, contact 101 and quote reference 97187/15.
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