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Can comfort dogs console the people of Newtown?


Skyler
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Of all the offers I've heard made to NewTown, this is one of the best.

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CAN COMFORT DOGS CONSOLE THE PEOPLE OF NEWTOWN?

 

BY MARY ELIZABETH WILLIAMS

 

TUESDAY, DEC 18, 2012 11:23 AM EST on Salon.com

 

Dogs are heroes. They work with law enforcement to search out missing persons and deadly explosives. They guard our homes and property. They guide the blind. And in the depths of grief, the give unconditional consolation.

Over the weekend, a group of golden retrievers arrived in Newtown, Conn., to do exactly what they do best – to offer a little warmth and sweetness to a town shaken to its core with sorrow. The team of specially trained comfort dogs from Lutheran Church Charities traveled 800 miles to arrive at Christ the King Lutheran Church, where the funerals of two of the children killed in the massacre are being held. As Tim Hetzner, head of the organization, explained to the Chicago Tribune, “Dogs are non-judgmental. They are loving. They are accepting of anyone. It creates the atmosphere for people to share.” In just a short time, the animals have already put in their share of work. Hetzner told the Tribune, “You could tell which [townspeople] … were really struggling with their grief because they were quiet. They would pet the dog, and they would just be quiet … I asked [one man] how he is doing. He just kind of teared up and said: ‘This year, I’ve lost five loved ones and now this happened.’ The whole town is suffering.”

 

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“Therapy” animals are also used in a variety of programs across the country. Organizations like Pet Partners and the ASPCA offer training for owners who’d like to volunteer with their pets to people in need. And the work they do is fantastic. At our local cancer support group, for example, support dogs come in about once a month for the children whose parents and other family members are going through illness or have recently died. All the kids have to do is sit and play with them. And it’s so phenomenal to watch what those animals do for those children. The beautiful reprieve they provide — it’d break your heart.

 

A dog doesn’t ask you to talk about your feelings when you still have no words for them. A dog never says the wrong thing. And though a dog can’t change the most unimaginably terrible thing to happen in the life of one small town, a dog, stalwart and true, can ease the pain in a way that’s pure and tender and unlike anything else. Hetzner told the “Today” show Tuesday, “They’re like furry counselors. They help people to relax. They help people to be joyful…. they love to love. They love everybody, and that’s the beauty of the dogs.” And as one Newtown child put it, “They help you get over how sad it is.”

 

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As always, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! A proud supporter of the 10% (or slower) rule.

 

Requip - 3/16 ZERO  Total time on 25 years.

 

Lyrica: 8/15 ZERO Total time on 7 or 8 yrs.

BENZO FREE 10/13 (started tapering 7/10)  Total time on 25 years.

 

Read my intro thread here, and check the about me section.  "No matter how cynical you get, it's almost impossible to keep up." Lily Tomlin

 

 

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Animals > people, mostly.

2009-2011: tapered off Trazodone, Namenda, Lamictal, Dextroamphetamine, Zyprexa; cold-turkeyed Pristiq; reduced Lexapro dose 50%.
On clonazepam since 2004, 0.5 - 1.0 mg daily PRN. Three failed (too rapid) partial tapers, 2010 - 2011.
Dec. 2011 - March 2013: Tapered off 0.5 mg clonazepam (Klonopin)

August 2013: Switched to liquid escitalopram (Lexapro) and began tapering from 10 mg.

January 2014: 4.5 mg escitalopram

March 2014: One year off benzos

May 2014: 3.0 mg escitalopram

June 2014: severe depression, updosed to 4.0 mg

Sept 1, 2014: 2.7 mg

Dec 7, 2014: Can't get below 2.5 mg without unbearable symptoms. Doing an extended hold (I hope)

March 2015: TWO YEARS POST-BENZO

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Animals > people, mostly.

Sparrow, this is an interesting response, especially considering your avatar. But can you elaborate a tad, is your meaning animals are greater than people? In truth, the only thing we humans seem to have over animals is our ability to appreciate them as pets (sometimes). Animals do not seem to realize what rapscallions we are!

 

I'm feeling pretty cynical today.

As always, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! A proud supporter of the 10% (or slower) rule.

 

Requip - 3/16 ZERO  Total time on 25 years.

 

Lyrica: 8/15 ZERO Total time on 7 or 8 yrs.

BENZO FREE 10/13 (started tapering 7/10)  Total time on 25 years.

 

Read my intro thread here, and check the about me section.  "No matter how cynical you get, it's almost impossible to keep up." Lily Tomlin

 

 

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Dogs, not drugs.

 

I would like to borrow a pre-washed golden retriever comfort dog, please.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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I just think animals are much nicer to be around than most (not all, of course) humans. 100% uncomplicated, unconditional love. Yay for comfort pups!

 

Sparrow

2009-2011: tapered off Trazodone, Namenda, Lamictal, Dextroamphetamine, Zyprexa; cold-turkeyed Pristiq; reduced Lexapro dose 50%.
On clonazepam since 2004, 0.5 - 1.0 mg daily PRN. Three failed (too rapid) partial tapers, 2010 - 2011.
Dec. 2011 - March 2013: Tapered off 0.5 mg clonazepam (Klonopin)

August 2013: Switched to liquid escitalopram (Lexapro) and began tapering from 10 mg.

January 2014: 4.5 mg escitalopram

March 2014: One year off benzos

May 2014: 3.0 mg escitalopram

June 2014: severe depression, updosed to 4.0 mg

Sept 1, 2014: 2.7 mg

Dec 7, 2014: Can't get below 2.5 mg without unbearable symptoms. Doing an extended hold (I hope)

March 2015: TWO YEARS POST-BENZO

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