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Stroke a Pet
The benefits of living with a pet have captured the attention of scientists, who've observed that pets lower stress. One poll even suggests that pets foster communication and that couples who own a dog—and talk to it—fare better than couples who don't. Actually, this ability to facilitate communication was documented in the sixties by psychologist Boris Levinson who used pets in his work with autistic children and was the laughingstock of the psychiatric community. Today such "assisted therapy" is commonplace. Also, "visiting pets" are welcome at nursing homes and hospitals, where they've been credited with lowering blood pressure and boosting spirits. The pets get a lot out of it too.