The artist behind the first art exhibit for dogs just wanted everyone to have fun.

When Dominic Wilcox was asked to create the first ever interactive art exhibition for dogs, his #1 priority was that it actually be fun for the dogs.

Pet-loving insurance company More Than commissioned the exhibit from Wilcox as part of their #PlayMore campaign, which encourages pet owners to play with their pets on a more regular basis to promote their overall well-being.

Buck jumping into a giant dog-bowl-shaped ball pit at the dog exhibition. Photo via Dominic Wilcox.


"Humans have so many art and design exhibitions to visit nowadays, it seemed only fair that dogs should get to see an exhibition created solely for them," Wilcox wrote in an email.

The exhibition took place on Aug. 19 and 20, 2016, in London and was attended by dogs and their humans of all shapes and sizes.

Studies show that dogs don't just love playtime β€” they get real mental and physical health benefits from it, too.

A 2014 study conducted at Bristol University involving 4,000 dogs and their owners found that when owners increased the amount of regular play sessions with their dogs, the dogs were less aggressive, less depressed, and had fewer signs of anxiety.

Just like how humans often feel better after doing something active (especially if it's also fun), the same seems to be true for dogs.

For dog owners who don't always have time to provide their furry companions with a variety of activities, Wilcox's interactive museum gave both humans and canines an opportunity to see and do new things.

Like any good art exhibit, Wilcox made sure the dogs had interesting paintings to look at β€” at their eye level.

Photo via Dominic Wilcox.

Photo via Dominic Wilcox.

When it came to the more interactive exhibits, the dogs could enjoy classic dog things like sticking their heads out the window in the smelly breeze...

Note the shoes in the fan! Photo via Dominic Wilcox.

...and running through a water fountain in the grass...

...and watching a frisbee on TV.

Image via morethan/YouTube.

Wilcox even built a giant dog bowl ball pit, which was a big hit with dogs who like playing fetch (aka most of them).

Photo via Dominic Wilcox.

All in all, the dogs seemed to have a pretty fabulous time.

And their owners had a great time too! (I mean, who wouldn't?)

When humans play with their dogs, we're improving our own lives just as much as the lives of our dogs.

Several studies have shown that dog owners are less stressed, in better shape physically, and even have better relationships with other people and the outside world.

When dogs (and people) are left without stimulation for long periods of time, however, they can suffer negative emotional and physical side effects, just like humans. So even though it's tricky sometimes, it's important for dog owners to make time for playtime.

Of course, not every city is lucky enough to have such a cool interactive exhibition, but dogs and their humans could simulate the experience by exploring a new park or playing with a dog-walking group or taking a drive to a lake or ocean and playing on the beach.

Check out an adorable video of the exhibition here:

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This year more than ever, many families are anticipating an empty dinner table. Shawn Kaplan lived this experience when his father passed away, leaving his mother who struggled to provide food for her two children. Shawn is now a dedicated volunteer and donor with Second Harvest Food Bank in Middle Tennessee and encourages everyone to give back this holiday season with Amazon.

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Over one million people in Tennessee are at risk of hunger every day. And since the outbreak of COVID-19, Second Harvest has seen a 50% increase in need for their services. That's why Amazon is Delivering Smiles and giving back this holiday season by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Second Harvest to feed those hit the hardest this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local food bank or charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

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Courtesy of Macy's

Brantley and his snowman

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"Would you like to build a snowman?" If you asked five-year-old Brantley from Texas this question, the answer would be a resounding "Yes!" While it may sound like a simple dream, since Texas doesn't usually see much snow, it seemed like a lofty one for him, even more so because Brantley has a congenital heart disease.

On Dec. 11, 2019, however, the real Macy's Santa and his two elves teamed up with Make-A-Wish to surprise Brantley and his family on his way to Colorado where there was plenty of snow for him to build his very own snowman, fulfilling his wish as part of the Macy's Believe campaign. After a joy-filled plane ride where every passenger got gift bags from Macy's, the family arrived in Breckenridge, Colorado where Santa and his elves helped Brantley build a snowman.

Brantley, Brantley's mom, and Santa marveling at their snowmanAll photos courtesy of Macy's

Brantley, who according to his mom had never actually seen snow, was blown away by the experience.

"Well, I had to build a snowman because snowmen are my favorite," Brantley said in an interview with Summit Daily. "All of it was my favorite part."

This is just one example of the more than 330,000 wishes the nonprofit Make-A-Wish have fulfilled to bring joy to children fighting critical illnesses since its founding 40 years ago. Even though many of the children that Make-A-Wish grants wishes for manage or overcome their illnesses, they often face months, if not years of doctor's visits, hospital stays and uncomfortable treatments. The nonprofit helps these children and their families replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy and anxiety with hope.

It's hardly an outlandish notion β€” research shows that a wish come true can help increase these children's resiliency and improve their quality of life. Brantley is a prime example.

"This couldn't have come at a better time because we see all the hardships that we went through last year," Brantley's mom Brandi told Summit Daily.

Brantley playing with snowballs

Now more than ever, kids with critical illnesses need hope. Since they're particularly vulnerable to disease, they and their families have had to isolate even more during the pandemic and avoid the people they love most and many of the activities that recharge them. That's why Make-A-Wish is doing everything it can to fulfill wishes in spite of the unprecedented obstacles.

That's where you come in. Macy's has raised over $132 million for Make-A-Wish, and helped grant more than 15,500 wishes since their partnership began in 2003, but they couldn't have done that without the support of everyday people. The crux of that support comes from Macy's Believe Campaign β€” the longstanding holiday fundraising effort where for every letter to Santa that's written online at Macys.com or dropped off safely at the red Believe mailbox at their stores, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. New this year, National Believe Day will be expanded to National Believe Week and will provide customers the opportunity to double their donations ($2 per letter, up to an additional $1 million) for a full week from Sunday, Nov. 29 through Saturday, Dec. 5.

There are more ways to support Make-A-Wish besides letter-writing too. If you purchase a $4 Believe bracelet, $2 of each bracelet will be donated to Make-A-Wish through Dec. 31. And for families who are all about the holiday PJs, on Giving Tuesday (Dec. 1), 20 percent of the purchase price of select family pajamas will benefit Make-A-Wish.

Elizabeth living out her wish of being a fashion designer

Additionally, this year's campaign features 6-year-old Elizabeth, a Make-A-Wish child diagnosed with leukemia, whose wish to design a dress recently came true. Thanks to the style experts at Macy's Fashion Office and I.N.C. International Concepts, only at Macy's, Elizabeth had the opportunity to design a colorful floral maxi dress. Elizabeth's exclusive design is now available online at Macys.com and in select Macy's stores. In the spirit of giving back this holiday season, 20 percent of the purchase price of Elizabeth's dress (through Dec. 31) will benefit Make-A-Wish.You can also donate directly to Make-A-Wish via Macy's website.

This holiday season may be a tough one this year, but you can bring joy to children fighting critical illnesses by delivering hope for their wishes to come true.

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