By Liz, on vacation from the day job this week and loving the freedom!
I knew sooner or later Shaggy would start getting invited to do events, and I would be optional. (No, I’m not jealous at all! I know she’s much cuter.) Anyway, we were delighted when the lovely Kim Mather at the Guilford Smith Memorial Library here in South Windham invited Shaggy to be a reading dog this summer.
Of course, Shaggy jumped at the chance. She loves attention, and especially loves being the star of the show. So last week, she got to go to her very first solo event as the library’s “Dog Hero.”
If we weren’t excited already, being billed as a hero made the event that much better. Shaggy was thrilled with the title, as she’s worked very hard taking classes and has a goal of being an official therapy dog. She’s already visited hospitals, nursing homes and schools and brought smiles to a lot of faces with her sweet personality. And to have the library recognize the important role dogs play in the community is huge.
That got us thinking about all the hero dogs out in the world. There are so many of them, from police K-9s, to military dogs, to members of a family who do something extraordinary. We read about them all the time – the pup who alerted its family to a fire and saved everyone, or the dog who rescued a human sister or brother from an attacking animal. We loved the recent story about the dogs who saved each other’s lives when they were spotted in a shelter hugging each other and were promptly rescued. The stories are everywhere.
I’ve wanted Shaggy to be a therapy dog for a while, but never more than after the Newtown tragedy. The dogs who helped the community heal are true heroes, and they brought a level of comfort that sometimes can’t be reached even with a human counselor or therapist. Seeing the smiles Shaggy can bring to people’s faces just entering a room makes me feel good – and I know it makes her happy. She’s bringing good to the world just by being here.
So kudos to my local library for recognizing dog heroes like Shaggy. And hats off to all of you dog heroes out there. Keep up the good work.
Readers, do you have a dog hero in your life?