I had heard that my company introduced a new program, allowing a specially trained dog to be escorted through the office on a routine basis to spread warmth and well-being to stressed-out employees. Working remotely, I hadn’t had a chance to experience this until I went into the office for a meeting. It was then I met Addie, a friendly canine who indeed merits her title of “comfort dog.”
I bent down to pet Addie’s long, soft blonde fur, and she laid down on the floor to accept my strokes. What a sweetie she is! Call it psychological if you like, but I immediately understood how this gentle animal could alleviate tension. Apparently, she has a job share with another dog named Leah who I have not yet had the pleasure to meet. So it did not surprise me, and it filled my heart, to learn how Addie, Leah and their buddies were able to bring some solace to the devastated victims of Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
I was informed via email distribution yesterday that Addie would not be in the office, per the normal schedule, because she was sent on an important mission at the site of the most recent school shooting. As I write this, I am choking on the adjective “recent.” The fact that I need to qualify this because there have been so many is sickening. The email stated that Addie and Leah along with about 20 of other comfort dogs were visiting area hospitals and families, remaining for the first day of the return to school. Upon the dogs’ return, they needed a few days of well-deserved rest.
The email ended with, “Please keep this school in your thoughts and prayers. They have a long road ahead.”
Yes, they do. We all do.