Tuesday, 27 April 2010

A dog isn't just for life - it gives life

I've just read two brilliant books.

One called Endal and one called A Friend Like Henry.

Endal is about a man that is injured in the Iraq war whilst on friendly duty. He cannot walk and has lost a huge chunk of his memory - the part that remembers his wife and children for example. He becomes a very withdrawn and grumpy man. His wife is exasperated and doesn't know what to do. I sometimes wonder how she stayed with this man that was so ungrateful to her and was basically a stranger to her, as she was to him. Over the course of time they end up finding out about these dogs that are trained up to help people with disabilities........the man finds a new friend in Endal. This dog helps him in everything - even being able to use a cashpoint. He gives the man back his spirit and makes life live able again for the whole family - rather than just barely surviving.

A Friend Like Henry is another true story - about a young boy who has autism and how his mother is fighting and struggling for the authorities to take notice and to give her son the care he needs and the help she needs before she looses him to the world of autism forever. This little dog Henry is what brings around such a dramatic change for the whole family and becomes a life line for this little boy - he brings joy to the whole family and becomes a voice and a companion to the boy. This little dog totally changes their lives.

There are such things as pat dogs as well that are taken around to hospitals for children and adults to pet. The joy these animals gives them is beyond words. People convalescing from illnesses and operations are greatly enhanced by being around pets - especially dogs. There are even some companies that understand the benefit of this and have a bring your pet to work day. Those days the average stress in the office/workplace is greatly reduced.

What a shame that so many youngsters (ha how I make myself sound so old) are now using these wonderful creatures to fight and be part of the gang culture that is slowly creeping into every corner of this country.

Seeing how these dogs have bought children out of their silent horror of the disabled world they are in - seeing how they bring a smile to the most critically ill children and adults - seeing how they help someone lost in their inner torment find a voice - well I have a new found respect and something else to start researching.

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