Jun 282012
 
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In my About me page, I mentioned one reason for starting this blog was to improve my writing skills.  While the posts I’ve done have been written more casual and not close to academic writing, my goal remains the same, to improve my writing skills.  Additionally, I’m trying to find my writing style.

I had said that I would be sharing essays I wrote for my English class, and have shared three so far.  You can find them here, here, and here.

After Carlos’ post yesterday, I thought I’d share my essay…I thought it would be an easy read.  Feel free to provide constructive criticism on my grammar, but please be nice = )

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How Dogs Benefit Humans

Many millennia ago, man and wolf began a relationship that would change the course of humanity forever.  Dogs helped bring humans out of the Stone Age, and into the modern age.  Today, dogs are helping humans more than ever, and people’s bond with them grows ever stronger.

People can benefit socially from the relationships they have with dogs.  For example, owning a dog, and caring for it, can teach children responsibility, as well as boost their self-esteem, and sharpen their intellect. Dogs require a lot of care, and children can be charged with the responsibility of feeding, walking, grooming and bathing their pet.  Because of their nonjudgmental nature, unconditional love and loyalty, dogs help children who are quite, shy, or suffer from anxiety.  Many children and adults alike, who have difficulty reading, have benefited from reading to dogs.  A dog listens contently as a person reads aloud, never offering any negative feedback, which boosts confidence and improves reading and comprehension skills. Having a dog by one’s side when out for a walk can allow people to appear more approachable, and can be a catalyst for strangers to talk to one another, helping increase the amount people socialize, and even help them make new friends.  As mentioned previously, dogs are excellent companions; they are solidly devoted to their master.  For this reason, dogs increase a person’s sense of happiness, security, and they ease loneliness for people who are divorced, single, or are survivors of deceased loved ones.  Dogs bring about in people, feelings of self-worth, sometimes when other people cannot.  They make people feel needed and wanted.

It is now a recognized fact; dogs improve the lives of humans, including their health.  The simple act of petting or playing with a dog can raise serotonin and dopamine levels in people, thus reducing their stress and anxiety.  In addition, dogs nowadays are used as therapy animals to help children and adults alike with many health ailments and disabilities.  Some of these ailments and disabilities include blindness, autism, epilepsy, and diabetes.  Dogs’ keen sense of smell, is allowing them to help medical professionals to detect melanoma, reducing the need for painful, and sometimes unneeded skin biopsies.  Furthermore, dogs are prescribed for many war veterans in the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Many of these veterans have regained control of their life, thanks to the relationship and experiences they have created with their dogs.  Another example of how dogs can help improve human’s quality of life was presented in a recent article.  The article describes a plan that will train a dog to detect the rare disease of mastocytosis, a disorder in which the body produces abnormally high numbers of mast cells that could trigger many problems including a fatal allergic reaction.  If the training is successful, it will allow many children with this disease to be able to attend school safely.

In addition to dogs benefiting humans socially, and improving their health, they also work with the government and law enforcement to help protect us.  For many years, dogs served alongside soldiers in times of war.  Because of dogs’ keen sense of hearing and smell, some dogs were trained as scouts to help find concealed threats such as landmines and even snipers.  The military also used dogs as messengers; a task for which the dog needed to be loyal to two masters, or otherwise the message might not arrive on time or at all.  Law enforcement now have police dogs; commonly known as K-9 units.  These K-9s are more effective at chasing and holding suspects than their human counterparts.  Dogs track a suspect’s smell if he is hidden and detain him once he is caught until his handler arrives.  Additionally, dogs are trained in narcotic detection to assist in the war on drugs.  Sniffing dogs, as they are sometimes referred to, are found at airports, and at border crossings, where high levels of security and anti-contraband measures are needed.  Many dogs also assist with search and rescue missions (SAR).  SAR dogs are indispensable for wilderness tracking, during natural disasters, or locating missing people.  In the aftermath of the tragedy that befell the United States on September 11, 2001, people used search and rescue dog units to find people buried under the debris.  Search and rescue dogs are responsible for finding hundreds of people every year.

The relationship between dogs and humans has changed vastly from the time when the first wolf approached the flicker of a fire at the center of a human encampment.  Today, dogs serve a multitude of roles in nearly every facet of human life.  From protector to detector of impending health crisis to friend, dogs benefit people’s lives in many ways.  Dogs are no longer just companions; they are quickly becoming an indispensable part of people’s lives.

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Images from on Google.

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