Friday, August 26, 2011
Bringing Out The Best
Abused children who end up in the court system in the United States have a tough row to hoe. They do not understand unconditional love, safety and the worth they truly have. They understand danger, violence and pain...... daily.
I never was a dog person. Until we got our dog. We adopted him two years ago at the age of 8. And we've never looked back. This dog has been an unexpected protector of our home, guardian of our children and joy to play with. We also got our cat about a year ago and I can't say the same things about her. :)
There's something about animals that brings out a different side of you. They are so vulnerable and accepting that it just takes your defenses away when they need to be taken away the most.
I learned just recently of pet therapy and how pets can aid in the healing of children who have been exploited, abused and hurt. It helps them be vulnerable and trust, even in small ways. Pets can provide them with a sense of ownership and responsibility that can really go a long way toward healing the hurt they've experienced.
At New Life Village, orphans will be able to experience caring for animals on a working farm. Because each child will have a role to play in taking care of all the animals, resulting in clear, positive goals and outcomes, they will be able to participate in an endeavor guaranteed of success that isn't nearly as emotionally charged as their prior relationships with adults. What a brilliant idea!
Hearts in Harmony in East Texas and Gabriel's Angels in Arizona provide pet therapy, free of charge to children in the court system with the goal of breaking the cycle of violence and encouraging openness and vulnerability of the children to help in their healing process.
I think this is completely incredible. It's an "outside the box" way of helping children who have been exploited. And we all know there are just so many of them.
What do you think? Are you passionate about your pets? Passionate about helping hurting children? I wonder what you could do with your passion......
(*Image taken from gabrielsangels.com)