The Queen Knew Dogs’ Power to Calm


David Nott is a Welsh surgeon who has worked on the front lines in some of the world’s most dangerous war zones. When he had the opportunity to have lunch with Queen Elizabeth II one day and she politely asked him about his travels, he started having a panic attack. His bottom lip quivered as images of the carnage he had seen began flooding his mind.

The queen’s corgis were underfoot at the table, and she immediately took out some treats for Dr. Nott to give them; the two of them spent the rest of their meal feeding and stroking her pets. “My anxiety and stress drained away,” Dr. Nott wrote in his internationally bestselling book, War Doctor: Surgery on the Front Line.

Today, military veterans with PTSD are sometimes paired with therapy dogs who can calm them when they sense a panic attack coming on. The queen’s instinct for knowing dogs’ ability to calm anxious, and even traumatized, people was spot on.


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