“When dogs fulfill their roles they are ecstatically happy.” Robert Crais
Dogs do play many roles in our lives. We see them as pets…house pets. We see them as working dogs on a farm or ranch…herding livestock. We see them as guard dogs…protecting a business. We see them as lap dogs…companions for their owners. We see them as rescue dogs…assisting in natural or man-made disasters searching for survivors or for the deceased. We see them as service dogs…guiding their sight or hearing impaired owners. We see them working with law enforcement agents…they are the K-9 unit. We see them as “therapists”…participating in animal assisted therapy.
“Rescued” dogs helping soldiers cope with PTSD
Over the past several years we have published posts that deal with active duty military and veterans who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). So this week we watched with interest an NBC Nightly News story that profiled the Guardians of Rescue and their work to match rescued dogs with veterans who are trying to cope with PTSD. This organization has a pretty simple mission.
The mission of Guardians of Rescue is to facilitate and foster programs and activities that further the uniquely symbiotic and therapeutic benefits of interaction between people and animals. We are all about compassionate action, about People Helping Animals and Animals Helping People. At its core, we are an animal rights and welfare organization whose members work to protect the wellbeing of all animals and their owners, and come to the aid of those in distress.
Meet Zoe and Michael Metsinger
If you are having trouble viewing the video, you can see it here.
Cottonwood Tucson and animal assisted therapy
For many years, here at Cottonwood we have offered Equine-Assisted Therapy Intensive – a profound glimpse into the totality of human emotional experience. As patients explore their own capacity for trust, intimacy, boundaries, and self-acceptance, the horse confirms and mirrors the person’s strengths and challenges.
Noted pioneer in the field and lifetime equine professional, Laura Brinckerhoff, and her team of Equine professionals and safety support carefully facilitates this equine encounter, which is available at least one time to each patient at Cottonwood. Occasionally patients may participate more frequently as determined by the treatment team. This past year we constructed an equine-labyrinth.
And then there is Nacho, a member of our clinical team since 2010. Nacho is a registered Pet Partner. He has worked in a variety of
settings, including a drop-in center for the homeless and a transitional
housing program for persons struggling with co-occurring disorders.
Nacho enjoys playing fetch and napping in his spare time.
Here’s to dogs…may they all be ecstatically happy!