Scout joined the family, including T1 Samantha (National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach), few years ago. From the moment he hopped up into the car and onto the center console like a true explorer after his adoption, he became a special member of the crew.
While he can be strong-willed and independent, every once in a while he shows his soft side by laying down by me to stand guard when he gets a sense that I am high or low. Mostly, his involvement in my life with diabetes comes from the joy (and stress relief) he brings just by being his funny, furry self.
He loves dressing up in his University of Arizona football jersey to watch games and root for the team (Bear Down, Arizona Wildcats!). You can almost “hear” him chanting the official U of A fight song is “Fight! Wildcats! Fight!”
Life wouldn’t be the same without him!
Notice the cuddle toy above and then the Mickey Mouse ears (or perhaps headphones?) and the Bruce Springsteen book on the coffee table. Scout is definitely a pup of wide-ranging and eclectic interests!
Looking at Cute Animals Online Is Literally Good for Your Brain was reported by Angela Lashbrook for OneZero/Medium.com, 30 October 2019.
Our attraction to cute animals generally can be explained by “baby schema,” a concept proposed by the Austrian ethologist (or studies of animal behavior) Konrad Lorenz. The baby schema theory posits that humans evolved to be drawn towards creatures with big heads, large eyes near the center of the face, chubby cheeks, and a big forehead because they had to care for babies. The pleasure early humans derived from looking at babies made them more likely to care for and protect them, and we still have this tendency today. Our attraction to the characteristics of babies can be extended to include animals — in particular baby animals, who, like human babies, often have big heads and features.
Jessica Gall Myrick, an associate professor of media studies at Penn State University who has studied how internet animals affect our emotions, says that looking at adorable animals results in feelings of warmth, similar to how we might feel when we see a human baby. “Viewing images or videos of cute creatures likely elicits similar feelings and motivations in people as our brains are not great at differentiating between mediated and real-life situations,” she says. “In my study of responses to cat videos, many of which likely contain cute content, people reported experiencing greater positive emotions and more energy after viewing them than before, alongside a corresponding decrease in negative feelings.”
Hiroshi Nittono is the director of the cognitive psychophysiology laboratory at Osaka University in Japan and has run several studies on kawaii, which roughly translates to “cute” in English. The happy-making effect of looking at kawaii images, he says, is twofold: it distracts us from “boring or stressful” life situations, and it “reminds us of warm, tender feelings, which most of us are short of.” Both are equally important.
Looking at pictures of animals can even be good for your relationship. A 2017 study found that when couples look at pictures of cute animals together, they identify the positive feelings elicited by the animals with their partner. The researchers, who were contracted to do the study by the Department of Defense to help couples separated by deployment, were surprised the experiment worked as well as it did.