Yeah, I seem to be full of opinions today…
I heard a story on NPR about a little boy who was told by military personnel (who most likely were armed as most are in LA at the moment) that he had to leave his dog behind when he was being evacuated from New Orleans. The boy allegedly burst into tears, calling out for his dog as they were separated. “Snowball…!” That breaks my heart, not only for the boy but also for the animal who no doubt became one of who knows how many left to fend for themselves.
Now before anyone gets all huffy about the value of a human life compared to an animal life or any of that, take a deep breath and move on. This rant is not about that issue. This is about yet another example of how the best interests of the people in New Orleans might have been overlooked during the evacuation.
Many therapists and clinicians now are starting to recognize the healing power that interaction with a companion animal can have on a distressed human. It breaks my heart more to think of that little boy now not only without a home and possibly without family but without his dog…that dog could have kept him distracted during long hours waiting for medical help or food/water. That dog could have been someone for him to talk to while the adults discussed the more frightening issues at hand. That dog could have been something for that boy to hold on to in a time when everything in his world was turned upside down.
Don’t even get me started on assistance animals…I don’t think my heart can break into anymore pieces than it already has.