This just needs to be spread around! Pets for Vets is an amazing program that puts together partnerships of dogs with soldiers struggling with PSTD. Story after story show how healing happens in these partnerships. It is brilliant. Its spiritual basis points to Love, God, to help heal, comfort and redeem.
If one is struggling with recurring nightmares and re-living traumatic experiences, a dog's sense of the nowness of life helps restore focus on the present. It hints at the omnipresence of Love. If one is trying to avoid or escape from these experiences, a dog's loyalty can move thought to experience life now.
If overwhelming guilt or self-condemnation argue that one doesn't deserve happiness, a dog makes demands that you feed, walk and care for them. It is instantly gratifying to know you are needed and can take of another. Giving care helps to open thought to receiving care. A dog's loyalty and love lets you know you deserve care. Regardless of how traumatic a situation was, a dog who may have even experienced trauma can help show the recuperative power of forgiveness for oneself and others. Forgiveness helps to bring closure and peace and frees up the ability to live – to create and to love again.
When everything is changing, slight changes can set off a flood of emotion. The constancy of love, the unconditional outpouring of Love are at the root of the comfort and assurance expressed by these animals, reflecting God's omnipotent love.
I grew up with dogs and made sure my kids had dogs when they grew up. The love, loyalty and playfulness and companionship of these devoted animals point to the timeless spiritual Truths that Love heals. Love understands. Love never leaves you. God never sends or creates trauma, but gives us the strength and dominion to overcome these problems. The loyalty, devotion, innocence, forgiveness and playfulness of these beautiful animals reflect the power of God's love and help show us the way.
Kim C Korinek, CSB
banner photo (c) Micah Korinek; other photos by Gabe Korinek, Kim Korinek, Brad Crooks. Leslie Larsen (c) 2016