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

Museums aren't just for humans anymore.

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 — 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 — 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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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

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Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

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Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

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A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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