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Good morning, here is the citation I promised.  Unfortunately, this article is very hard to come by for people outside academia, which I was reminded of this morning.  In short, the researcher found that when a study participant was asked to ‘just relax’ his cardiovascular response went up, indicating stress.  But when asked to stroke his pet snake of 25 years ‘Beaux’, a common boa constrictor to whom he was extremely attached, his heart rate and blood pressure went down.  This old study is one of the few that takes the human-animal bond between herp owners and their pets seriously, unfortunately.  It is interesting that it points out what so many of us already know, that attachment to our animals yields all kinds of personal benefits.  The citation is:

“RM and Beaux: Reductions in Cardiac Activity in Response to a Pet Snake” by Timothy Eddy, The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, September 1996. Volume 9, page 184.  Even if you never read this article, knowing waht it says makes for a good conversation topic at your next cocktail party or bar-b-que!

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