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  • Writer's pictureMarybeth Haines

Temple Grandin - The Healing Bond/Connection Between Animals & Humans

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When I set out to create these educational articles, I knew that as I wrote my entries, I would research and therefore learn about so many subjects that could open up my own wealth of knowledge about pets and animals. Hearing about people who do good things for pets/animals is inspiring.

I have been researching the bond between human beings and animals/pets for some time now. Each time I write a new entry, I think about subjects that people might want to hear or learn about. In this posting I’ve decided to celebrate someone who has created a change in the world.

Her name is Temple Grandin.

Temple is a doctor of animal science and a professor at Colorado State University, a bestselling author, and activist amongst many, many other things. Temple also happens to have autism. I remember hearing about her ‘hug box’ (also known as the ‘squeeze machine’) that she created to calm down autistic children. How did she discover how to calm herself down with this hug box? She studied animal behavior to help her understand people.

Temple Grandin studied animals to understand humans better

With autism, fear is a huge emotion. Anything loud like bells would create fear and panic attacks in Temple. She wanted to see how animals viewed the world. She mentions how she feels more at peace with cattle than with people.

You may have heard how she observed cattle and how she discovered that when the cattle had pressure surrounding them from the squeeze chute used to hold them while they were vaccinated, they calmed down. She asked her aunt if she could try out this squeeze chute on herself and it soothed her. With Temple’s makeshift “squeeze machine” she would pull a cord that applied pressure on each side and calm her over-active nervous system.

I know there have been books and movies written about Temple Grandin and that there is so much more to say about her view of the world and how she has helped animals and in turn help people too. Temple Grandin has devoted the last 30 years to studying animals and making their lives better. Her respect for animals is apparent.

I’ve often seen children with special needs go towards a dog or a cat to seek solace. I’ve also seen over active dogs go directly to certain people first. This bond between pet/animal humans is so special. Perhaps there is a person in your neighbourhood who has a special way of helping animals. Perhaps this person is taking your pet to help make the lives of the elderly or children better. Or perhaps this person helping our pets and animals on this planet is you.

In your world, where do you see animals helping people? When we are aware, we wake up to endless possibilities. When we are awake, we see things we might not see when we are stressed or overwhelmed.

Just knowing that there are people in the world working hard to understand what our pets and animals need is a positive thought…a positive thought indeed.

Love and hugs,


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