Sometimes when I can't stand life any more,
when I can't hear one more story about what is going on in Washington D.C.
when I have worried long enough about what I will be doing next year,
or whether my sons will ever be normal, functioning adults
I sneak away to go puppy watching.
I don't sneak away physically.
I sneak away to an entirely different virtual reality.
Warning: It's highly addictive)
The Warrior Canine Connection is a Maryland-based organization
that raises labs and golden retrievers
to act as service dogs
for warriors with PTSD and traumatic brain injuries.
I've written about these guys before.
I stumbled across them in the summer of 2012
when my son had departed for his first year of college
and the Aurora theater shooting had just happened.
My soul was deeply troubled
Just like it is right now
But there's something about watching puppies nursing
sleeping in a giant puppy pile
that soothes me.
Right now, there is a litter
of eight golden retrievers,
four girls and four boys,
with a beautiful mama named Jessi
The puppies are about five weeks old.
They are already at least partly potty trained
they interact with puppy petting volunteers
of all ages several hours each day
they eat out of bowls
soon they will be named
(the last few litters have been named after veterans)
go home with volunteer puppy parents
and spent two years learning
how to be service dogs.
It's a hard job
and it seems like only about half actually make it.
Others become therapy dogs
or family service dogs.
I love watching them grow.
There's just something soothing
about watching puppies.