In times of sadness many people look for an outlet for their grief or a way to try to comfort themselves and the pain they are feeling. Some people look to less than healthy options but many people try to find something positive and uplifting to raise their spirits or to comfort their pain. I know people who turn to their families or their children. I have a friend who chooses to paint and another who does yoga. Each of these outlets works for these individuals. As I’ve stated before, in difficult times I find comfort in my animals. There’s something about hugging my dog or petting my cat that instantly calms my aching heart if even for a short time. I know quite a few people who have the same response with their own animals. Thankfully, studies show that stress can be reduced just by spending time around an animal! This is why therapy dogs are becoming a new (and very cool might I add) addition to therapy sessions around the world!
A tragedy I’m sure we are all familiar with, to some extent, occurred three years ago here in Colorado. A theater shooting in July 2012 left 12 dead and 70 wounded. The gunman, James Holmes, was on trial this summer for the shooting. Now, in Healed by the Hound fashion I don’t want to spend a lot of time discussing the tragedy itself. It’s an important story and a terribly sad one at that. It deserves to be discussed and remembered, but my goal for Healed by the Hound is to promote the positive stories that are too often skipped over. It’s common that we only hear of the pain and sadness in a news article but rarely are given the glimpse of hope that exists in each story. During the trial there was a bit of light in all of the darkness, this light came in the form of a dog, five dogs to be exact. Chester, Oscar, Clancey, Finn and Bronte, along with their owners and handlers, volunteered their time to help ease the sadness of the victims, witnesses and families. The dogs spent months outside of the courtroom, waiting to comfort the next person in need of compassion. The dogs served as an incredible support system for many of the witnesses and family members involved in the trial. I can only imagine the pain that engulfed that court room and the fact that these five dogs were able to lift some of that for even one person is incredible to me. Animals are becoming more critical in our everyday lives. As a society we are becoming more aware of their worth and their importance to us. Hallelujah! When I read the articles on these dogs I was moved. After three years of reading heart wrenching, tragic news articles, this article from 9news gave me a feeling of hope for the victims and their families. Knowing how critical my own animals are in my healing, I have no doubt these five dogs had an impact on the healing of these individuals. Recently, one of the dogs, Chester, fell ill with a spinal infection. The money for his care was raised quickly by Colorado residents who wanted to repay Chester for his kindness during the theater trial. I will be sure to follow Chester’s story and update all of you!
The thing we need to realize is that sometimes things fly out of the hands of humans and fall into the paws of a dog.