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Healing with Unconditional Love…and big Paws

Michele Asslin New York Times

Helping without judging; breaking up chaos with uncompromising love; unwinding snarls of frustration.

Melissa Fay Greene’s in depth account in Sunday’s NYT magazine, of how a service dog named Chancer, connected with a troubled young boy in a way that loving, caring parents or medicine could not has deeply moved many readers, judging by the extensive comments on the NYT magazine web site. (256 comments)

As a story within a story, Ms. Greene tells of the physical life-threatening challenges of one women, whose persistent nurse encouraged her to seek a service dog, which lead to a career of helping others by training and providing highly trained service dogs.   Ms. Greene then circles back to the story of a family who adopted a young boy and a baby girl from Russia.  At a young age the boy exhibits symptoms of pre-natal alcohol abuse that results in raging chaotic behavior that  no amount of family affection, attention or pharmaceuticals could control.

The two stories connect when this family from Atlanta are lead to acquire a service dog for their troubled son.

The description of how the dog connects with the boy, engaging the boy when the boy would begin to spiral into rage – literally standing on top of the boy to calm him is precious.

In the Bible, in the book of John, the beloved disciple tells us that “God is love” (1st John 4:8).   He doesn’t tell us how God’s love is expressed of manifest.

Reading this story we can all take a lesson from Chancer,  the golden retriever with  unbounded love.