NY Times has some articles about the health benefits of dog ownership.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/06/health/06pets.html?ref=health

http://consults.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/05/readers-ask-pets-people-and-autism/

When I investigated the energy that brought Jazz into my life (by accessing his akashic records), I was told that I’d never completely opened my heart to anyone since I was three years old, and Jazz was a safe haven for me to learn how. Not sure about the facts on my own heart - but I do get the safe haven that a dog offers. It’s communing wordlessly with another soul, one that’s focused on the here and now.