A few weeks ago, I had my therapy dog Kelsie with me. at BAMC and sat with B. for an hour. He lost both legs and the use of one arm and has a TBI. He told me of his wife, K., and his dog, and his dreams. He wants to ride horses and is working toward that goal of feeling the freedom of that movement - 'almost like I had legs'.
So on the day before Armed Forces Day - to all of them that I am able to reach out to and all of those I'm not, thank you.
You are loved, you are appreciated and you are blessed. I am deeply grateful and humbled to know you have my back.
I had asked Chaplain S how he deals with compassion fatigue because I do. His response follows. I hope my dog teams read this carefully.
In what we do we have to be very careful. My mother was a nurse and I was about 14 years old. She got a patient who was a quadrapalegic. I remember people telling her to NOT get attached. He was a young male and she was used to taking care of older people; she became attached. Well he passed and our family went through so much pain because of how it effected her. My point is in what we do you have to condition your mind to say We cannot be selfish God needs these people for a much more important purpose. Just as God put you where you are for your important misson.
People will feed off of others attitudes. When you and your dogs are with those guys they feed off of your attitudes. There are so many soldiers here that tell me they love running into me, because I'm always smiling and joking around and that puts them in a good mood. You're doing the same thing. So what happens when we get stressed out with all of this? God introduces you to me.
Let those soldiers know that everyday you spend with them makes you a more quality person and thank them. That will really change their lives and make them feel better.