A soldier and a dog



Many of us may have experienced relief just walking across a threshold into a place where we know we are loved – unconditionally. Think though what life could be if a calm, peaceful consciousness became our focus where ever we may be, became the perspective for any difficulty in which we find ourselves? A friend recently shared a conversation he had with Dave Keeler a volunteer with the group, “Divine Canines,” that brings service dogs to soldiers diagnosed with PTSD. Dave said, “Dogs offer unconditional love – it’s their sweet nature. This is the power of love – and love heals.”

Here’s how it happened recently. Keeler went out to Fort Hood Military Base in Texas to meet a soldier diagnosed with PTSD. He began talking, but the soldier did not respond. Maggie (Dave’s dog) just sat next to the soldier. Soon she rolled over, placed her head upside down on his boot and looked up at him. The soldier smiled and began to talk. Soon, he began playing fetch with Maggie – talking, smiling, laughing. After about an hour, the soldier had to go back to his barracks. He rubbed Maggie’s head and thanked Keeler.

After the two parted, an Army therapist came out and asked Keeler if he knew what had just happened. “That soldier hasn’t talked since he arrived here – three months ago!” she exclaimed. She added that it was truly an amazing thing she had just witnessed and thanked him.

Perhaps unconditional love is the universal principle that was witnessed. A love some have called divine, so unlimited in any way that turning to its expression in friendship may brings healing. A nineteenth century health reformer, Mary Baker Eddy also wrote of its effect, “…this I do know that when all that is human fails, this divine friendship goes on, and I and He come nearer.”

And “divine friendship” is what the soldier found when Maggie caused him to turn away from his difficult memories with a refreshingly playful dose of unconditional love. Now that’s a prescription to recommend!

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