Saturday, July 11, 2009

They Call It Puppy Love

(via John Cole)

A story from the Wall Street Journal about service dogs for veterans suffering from PTSD.

Like any other golden retriever seeking a treat, Tuesday nudged his owner’s hand with his snout one recent morning and waited expectantly.
Luis Carlos Montalvan got up from a chair in his small Brooklyn apartment and walked to the kitchen. Tuesday followed close behind, eyes fixed on a white cabinet. The retriever sat alertly as Mr. Montalvan, an Iraq war veteran with severe post-traumatic stress disorder, reached for a vial of pills, lined a half-dozen on the table and took them one by one.

The dog had gotten what he wanted: When the last pill was swallowed, he got up and followed his master out of the kitchen, tail wagging.

Tuesday is a so-called psychiatric-service dog, a new generation of animals trained to help people whose suffering is not physical, but emotional. They are, effectively, Seeing Eye dogs for the mind.

Contrast the difference in the quality of the marvelous reporting thoughout most of the paper and right wing drivel spilling from the Op/Ed page and one wonders how this cognitive dissonance came to exist, or was it always so?

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