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Family and Friends

Hi All,
I was sitting here wondering what to blog after the craziness of everything. There has been a whole lot going on with me and CLAIRE. I learned that she can sense grief in others and respond to my food allergies. The food allergy is a huge help because it keeps me in check. In addition, it means less hospitalization and doctor’s visits. However, what has really touched me about the program recently is how it brings together families. At the reunion I could not help but notice the amount of families that were together. I recently read the relationship statistics for prisoners, returning veterans, and those with disabilities. They show extremely high rates of relational stress, divorce, and loneliness in all members of the family. When I was at the reunion I did not see a lot of loneliness. In fact, I saw a lot of families bonding over some dogs and engaging in activities together. It is amazing how these dogs do not just help the person who is receiving them. They are helping the families and relationships of those with the dog. There are times when I forget that I am more than the sum of my disability. CLAIRE, friends, and family continue to remind me that my disability has made me a much kinder and emotional person. I am not sure how much those around me prefer the emotional part . Especially when I begin to cry over a movie. This happened to me recently and I believe it may have been a first. I tried to hide the tissues but was called out when I started sniffing. When I receive support from those around me, especially during those random cries, it helps me become just a little stronger. I often get so focused on my disability that I forget be grateful to friends and family for support. Especially those who do not see me as the total sum of my PTSD. Together with the dogs we can build a much healthier relationship and become stronger due to my disability. I want to thank the friends and family that attend paws4vets, paws4people, and paws4prison programs with their loved ones. It means the world to us and you guys are awesome.
April and CLAIRE

CLAIRE and Boots Helping Me Study

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