Once a week for the past seven years, Veronica Pardo, a volunteer, has brought two dogs to the only hospital in Quito, Ecuador, that treats children with cancer. The dogs not only “bring a sparkle to the eyes and smile to the faces of little ones in the midst of a huge struggle to stay alive,” says The Associated Press, they also have been shown to boost the children’s adrenaline, which helps them bolster their resistance to the harsh effects of chemotherapy.
A dog is man’s best friend in the most ordinary situations, but it’s when you’re down and out that your canine partner really comes through in the clutch. From easing military veterans’ battles with post-traumatic stress disorder to reducing heart and lung pressure for heart-failure patients, the tail-wagging beasts are walking therapy centers.
Here, eight ways dogs improve our health
Photo: AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa