May 14, 2014

It also featured key-note addresses to help educate attendees on trends and issues facing the  pet industry. One such address was from veterinarian Kate Hodgson. Sponsored by the Human Animal Bond Research Initiative Foundation,  Hodgson’s speech, Pets in the Family: Impact on Human Health – Zooeyia, focused on the importance pets play in the lives of humans.

Pets can, and have to, be included into the family cycle framework. Both she and Steven Feldman, executive director of HABRI, made this point very clear when it comes to a person’s health.

“Why aren’t cardiologists prescribing dogs,” Feldman questioned while introducing Hodgson.

Their point, backed up by scientific evidence presented during the speech,  showed that pets make people healthier, both physically and mentally.

Owned by Ron Davis, Tillman, a 60-pound skateboarding English bulldog, is part of the Natural Balance Pet Foods Canine Sports Team.  He also had a TV show, “Who Let the Dogs Out” on the Hallmark Channel.

The crowd at BlogPaws lined the street next to the hotel, cameras in hand, to watch Tillman do a skateboarding demonstration with his trainers. And, rightly so, it’s not every day a dog is skateboarding down a street.

As the trainers, including Davis, interacted with Tillman, the bond between them was evident. They were completely connected by just simple commands and movements. Tillman was attentive and didn’t pay any attention to the hundreds of people snapping photos of him. His only focus was his owner and trainers, and of course the skateboard.

Beyond that, just the idea of skateboard with a dog, makes him more of a companion and member of the family. It humanizes the animal, gets their owner to be more active with them and builds, a close relationship between the dog and his owner.

That relationship is a prime example of Hodgson’s definition, and benefit, of Zooeyia.




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