I hate to get personal on the blog, but it’s hard not to when it comes to the topic of dogs. It was hard, for years, to understand my dog-loving friends and their passion for their pets. I had read the accounts of how dogs had changed lives, but I didn’t buy it. I was by no means anti-pet, but I just thought that humans had a better chance of helping each other than their furry friends.
Then I got sick and came back to Fairfax County, where I had grown up and gone to high school. My parents still had the family dog -- Falcon -- and one of their first moves was to hand him over to me.
At first, it made no sense. I had a debilitating illness that I was trying to recover from, and they had they handed me more responsibility. Little did I know! Two years later, everyone -- from my mother to my best friend to my next-door neighbor -- agrees on one thing: my dog saved my life.
Now I have an interest in the healing that comes through animals and have found some great books in the library, including New York Post columnist Cindy Adams’ tale of healing in the book The Gift of Jazzy, which can be located through the online library catalog. Adams was given her dog, Jazzy, by friends after the death of her husband.
My newfound appreciation for dogs is part of the reason that I’m excited that Colleen Pelar, a certified professional dog trainer and author of Living With Kids and Dogs … Without Losing Your Mind, will be speaking at the Chantilly Regional Library next week. I love dogs and believe that they can help, heal and especially teach children lessons about kindness, gentleness and responsibility.
Hope you can make it to Ms. Pelar’s presentation on Tuesday, December 6 at 7 p.m. If you'd like to attend, call 703-502-3883.
Guest Blogger, Jayson Blair