Sometimes we go through trials that can make us discouraged for a while. However, we must never forget that hope dies last, and we must believe that things can take a better turn. A positive outlook will help us persist through difficult times.
The story of Caleb from Huntsville, Utah, is very touching. The boy barely survived a car accident, in which he lost his mother and two brothers. He suffered multiple severe lesions and fractured his femur, knees and hands. However, the most devastating consequence of the accident was a cerebral trauma due to the strong impact, which shattered his brain, and millions of nerve cells were destroyed as a result.
His grandmother tells how she ran to the hospital when she found out that her grandson was in intensive care. She was devastated when she saw his suffering, especially because she had no idea how much chance Caleb had to survive.
At the beginning, the boy’s recovery was so slow that everybody in the family became discouraged. However, they kept fighting for Caleb’s life and kept searching for any solution to speed up the healing process. This is how they came across the therapy dog called Colonel, a golden retriever of an extraordinary sweetness. The dog affected Caleb’s state in a very positive way from the very first day they met. This was the turning point when everybody became positive that the boy would stay alive and get well.
In a relatively short time after he started enjoying the company of his canine friend, Caleb started taking huge steps towards his physical and mental recovery. As the dog was sitting beside Caleb, the boy was encouraged to make efforts to hug him, so he started moving his hands and then his legs. Every time he saw the dog, Caleb became a bit more energetic and he kept trying to move his body in new ways and regain control over his limbs. At the beginning, during the first visits of the dog, Caleb wasn’t able to do many things. After a month of therapy, he was already able to walk, talk and play. Even though the suffering was still visible on his face, the progress was simply remarkable.
One of the benefits of animal therapy is that patients forget about the unfamiliar and sometimes frightening environment of the hospital. Children may forget completely that they are in a therapy and, while simply playing with animals, start focusing on developing and using their abilities. The gentle and patient presence of a therapy animal has helped countless people to start on their journey to recovery.