People say you'll never forget where you were on September 11th, 2001. It's true - I was in home ec class. The teacher came late that day and wasn't briefed on the fact that she shouldn't tell us what was going on. My heart sunk; I didn't even fully understand the gravity of the event being only in 7th grade, but I knew this would change my outlook on people forever.
For children in Newton, CT, they'll always remember where they were December 14, 2012. Some were in closets, saved by brave teachers who would sacrifice themselves before they would let their students get hurt. Some were crammed into a bathroom, told not to worry but to be quiet.
As the gunman took the fragile lives of so many, the worst of an American school shooting, everyone in and around the school would be forever touched.
Some children will never be the same. Innocence stolen, they now must do what we only ask older people to do: move on from their first tragedy.
And so comfort dogs and their handlers bundled their equipment and set out for a long drive from IL to CT. These dogs became national heroes as they were talked about all over social media and graced several pages of major newspapers. Some people couldn't talk still, with tears stinging their eyes and enormous lumps in their throats, but as a dog came by they could wrap their arms around it and feel the return of a sense of comfort. Some children simply petted the dogs, but it was the first real action they had taken in awhile.
I had wanted to write an article on these brave and gentle dogs, but last night something popped up on my facebook news feed that I knew I had to share...
The dog pictured above is Rudy. He was up for adoption along with his brothers and sisters. He was adopted by a 6 year old girl affected by Sandy Hook.
The girl's mother saw that the comfort dogs were helping her heal and knew that unfortunately the comfort dogs would eventually go home. They needed a dog of their own, so after asking a neighbor, they got in touch with For the Love of Labs who had this adorable pup up for adoption.
The picture is from the pup's first night at home.
Labs are gentle souls who give more love than ever can be returned. I know he will do everything he can to take the girl's mind off the incident, give her plenty of things to do, and become a forever playmate. After all, everyone knows Labs have hearts of gold.
May those affected by Sandy Hook find their own 'Lab' to take care of them; we are all still stunned by your loss.