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When therapy dogs have a break

Benny and Julian reconnecting
Benny and Julian reconnecting

We had a break for several weeks with our boy Julian. Today was our first session together in a month, the longest time Julian has been away from his therapy dogs.

I wondered if the time would be spent being unfocused, reconnecting, taking a few steps back.

Especially after I heard he had a difficult week.

When we arrived at the therapy center, I put Benny on my lap. He met a few new children in the waiting area and was very happy.

Then Julian arrived. He did not look at us and didn't acknowledge Benny.

I thought to myself, well this will take some time.

I spoke to Julian and asked if he wanted to hold Benny. He did not.

So we all walked into our room together. As soon as we settled in, however, it was as if no time had gone by. In fact, Julian got down to business quicker than some weeks when he needed time in the ball box or on the swing.

He wanted to play a game so he did that while Benny just lay next to him, chilling.

Julian was able to focus on the game while Benny was so close they could touch.

Then all of a sudden Julian moved closer to Benny and started posing for pictures.

Benny couldn't be happier. This is what he lives for - time with his boy.

Julian's attention.

Julian's approval.

Julian's eye contact.

Julian's love.

So while I was all concerned about how Julian would be after such a long break, I never for a minute questioned how Benny would be.

I knew he would be steady and calm and happy.

I knew he would look at Julian with joy and understanding.

I knew the two boys would pick up just where they had left off - as friends.

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