With all the bad news about COVID-19, a silver lining would be nice, and two days from today, right after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade on NBC, around 30-million viewers are expected to tune in to the National Dog Show and a segment filmed in a quiet kitchen up near Hall Mountain in Boundary County to hear just that.
The National Dog Show is one of the most well known dog shows in the world. Hosted by the Kennel Club of Philadelphia, the show was founded in 1879 and has been held annually since 1933.
Last year, before COVID-19, one of the focal points of the broadcast of the National Dog Show was the benefit of pets and the joy of adopting them from kennels across the country that were bursting at the seams.
Since COVID, pounds have all but emptied as people in the more urban areas have come to realize what many in the country have long known; having a pet is a medicine without compare and nearly all the side effects except maybe a piddle or two are good.
And as we get ready for our first COVID Thanksgiving, America’s Veterinarian, Bonners Ferry’s own Dr. Marty Becker, who has spent his life working toward better health for pets and the people who love them, will speak to the world from his kitchen to explain just why that is.
And it’s not all wiggling warm fuzzies, but honest to goodness, peer reviewed and time tested science. And while those who’ve taken in a dog or a cat, a llama, lizard, ferret or any of a myriad critters will aver to the benefits of their particular pet, what you may not know is that a healthy pet/people relationship is symbiotic … the benefits to health and happiness goes both ways.
“There isn’t much you can say about this year of COVID that’s good, but the resurgence in appreciation of the value of having the companionship of a pet is surely one of the few silver linings,” Dr. Becker said. “With the isolation and stress of coping with a pandemic, people just naturally began looking for comfort, and they’ve obviously rediscovered the joy of having a pet for a companion. And they’ve discovered just how amazing an effect a pet has on good health.”
Even those not themselves hit with the sars-cov-2 virus have been hit with the stress of coping with the pandemic and all the many changes that have come with it, which has the physiological effect of releasing hormones to trigger your “flight or fight” response. In lasting periods of elevated stress, such as this pandemic, fatigue sets in and health begin breaking down.
Human companionship helps, be it a child, a spouse or a friend, but no companion is more effective and efficient in triggering the release of the good and calming hormones in us than a pet. They don’t judge, don’t blame and their love is unconditional.
And what many who benefit from the company of a pet don’t realize but might find gratifying is that it goes both ways; a pet gets nearly identical physiological benefits from the relationship as the people do.
“Pets are a human life support system,” Dr. Becker said, “and it’s estimated that 70-percent of households in the nation are enjoying that medicine. I’m looking forward to sharing the revelation with the millions of guests who’ll be virtually visiting the best place on the planet on Thanksgiving, and I invite everyone to tune in!”
The Macy’s Day Parade airs locally on KHQ-6 at noon Thanksgiving day, followed by the 2020 National Dog Show at 3 p.m.