There’s nothing quite like the love between a boy and his dog. This sentiment comes to life as you watch “Jay” and his dog Hank play together. But what you can’t see that is their relationship is more than just playing fetch or tug-of-war. Aside from being Jay’s buddy, Hank is also training to be his therapy dog.
Their journey began a few months ago when Jay’s mom, saddened and frustrated by watching her son suffer with severe OCD and anxiety, posted a plea for prayers on Facebook. In addition to prayers, she got a suggestion that would change her family’s life. A friend suggested that Jay might benefit from a therapy dog. Excited by this idea, Jay’s mom quickly hit the Internet and was instantly discouraged not only by the wait time for a certified therapy dog (2-5 years) but also the expense (up to $15K). Not willing to give up on the idea, Jay’s mom mentioned her frustration to a friend who happened to be a GPG volunteer. The friend mentioned GPG’s K9 Warrior Project which partners with TADSAW (Train A Dog, Save a Warrior) to unite rescued dogs with veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. The volunteer wondered if rescue dogs could be trained to help Veterans, why couldn’t they be trained to help kids?
And the rest is history, so to speak. Jay’s mom reached out to GPG’s Rescue and Adoption Teams who were more than willing to help identify potential dogs and have them screened. She also found a trainer who would be able to work with her family and the dog long term.
After a few weeks and trial period, Hank became a permanent member of the family. He is already doing wonders to help ease Jay’s suffering and though he still has “puppy energy”, his focus and dedication to Jay is obvious. This is certainly a HAPPY TAIL!
See these two in action: