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No Dogs in Happiness Study?
Harvard brains miss a trick
Charles Schulz knew happiness is a warm puppy.

I recently read about and then signed up for a happiness study conducted by Harvard researchers. I answered some personal questions and then agreed to respond, as soon as possible, to a daily (you can request more frequent check-ins) text and email. The short daily survey asks several questions about what I’m up to and how I feel about it, and then charts my emotional temperature.

But I’ve hit a stumbling block. Recently, the survey dinged me during a lovely, long walk with my dogs. Feeling good! I reported. Then the survey asked if I was alone. Well, no. Then, it asked if I was interacting with someone. Well, yes. Although I admit at that point I started to feel a little nervous about my answer. But then, the next question came: Are you interacting with 1, 2, 3 or more people? People? I longed for an “other” at the very least. But I had no chance to explain. I selected “2 people.”
All those years of study, math camps, tutors, slide rules, pocket protectors and advanced degrees, and these Ivy Leaguers forgot about companion animals in a study to gauge happiness? What were they thinking? When I consider the high points of my day, many times it’s spent directly interacting with my dogs. I love people too, especially my husband, but playing, walking, training, cuddling with my dogs is often pure pleasure. Hopefully the study, which appears to be dynamic, will change and begin to include these important relationships in the metrics of happiness. Otherwise, the results wil be incomplete.


Lisa Wogan lives in Seattle and is the author of, most recently, Dog Park Wisdom. lisawogan.com
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Submitted by Pamela | December 13 2010 |

Hopefully you'll get a chance to give some feedback at the end of the study that will improve their thinking for the next go round.

Obviously the person who designed the study is dog-free. I'm so sorry for them!

Submitted by Anonymous | December 15 2010 |

Dont they say pets (dogs) make people live longer? Don't they have them visit the aging to make them feel better? HELLO! I think they are a very important part of making people happy. They fulfill parts of lives nothing else can. Too bad for the people doing the study that do now have pets.

Submitted by Camp K9 Kin | December 19 2010 |

Hear hear!!

Submitted by Lisa | December 19 2010 |

Ohhh this is rich!!! So much for that study :) lol!

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