Probably 14 years ago, I was counseling a teenage girl who was severely depressed. I don’t remember what day of the week it was, or what year, or even why this happened, but for some reason Melissa had allowed me to bring my little Maltese dog, Noel, to the office that day. I think probably some work was being done on my home. Regardless, Noel was at Daystar, following me up and down the hall as I brought child after child back to talk. That afternoon, I saw this young woman. In our session, she told me that she was considering taking her life. After we talked more about it, I went out into the lobby to get her mom to bring her back and talk through how to get her daughter to the hospital. I hated walking out of my office, even for a moment, because this young girl was sobbing so uncontrollably. When I walked back in, my dog, who had been sleeping on the floor all day, was sitting in this girl’s lap, licking her tears.
After the session, Noel and I walked back down the hall and saw Melissa. Her immediate reaction was, “Can you bring Noel to work every day?” Since that time, Daystar has employed 7 therapy dogs. (Actually, we wish they were really employed and drew a paycheck. Melissa?) On any given day, you could see Melissa’s Old English Sheepdog, Blueberry Pancake, David’s yellow Lab, Owen, or my little Havanese, Lucy, running up and down the hall. Or, even more importantly, you could find them licking the tears of some little boy or teenage girl…who has been loved on by one of our dear Daystar dogs. Come see us sometime. I’m sure they’d love to meet you and shake your paw…as would we (okay, maybe not the paw…)