With the start of a new school year, last week a brand new college at the University of Pennsylvania opened, the Penn Vet Working Dog Center. where cute little fluff balls like this, will learn how to detect IEDs, drugs, concealed live humans as well as human remains, and aid in rehabilitation therapy for humans both mentally and physically. And much like their human counterparts a good doggie education starts early.
Vet Cynthia Otto, who created the Penn Vet Center, was a part of a team of first responder dogs at Ground Zero after 9/11. Having tracked these dogs over the years, interested to know how their work affected their health. Otto found that the dogs were actually thriving after 11 years, leading her to conclude that meaningful work kept them happy and healthy.
Otto (left) with her working dog during Hurricane Katrina resuce in 2005
Listen to the full interview with Cynthia Otto and fellow dog trainer Annemarie DeAngelo with Terry Gross on Fresh Air: