by Susan Seigeltuch
Story 1: Not only did I have my precious pup Cinny (Cinnamon in my office especially with kids but I also worked outside the frame of the office with a ten year old girl.
Her father literally disappeared when he left the country suddenly to avoid going to court for extensive back-pay in child support. This young girl became virtually non-communicative and in effect, as silent as her father became to her.
I had the idea (just came over me) to take her with her mother’s permission to the animal shelter close by. We actually did that for many months. As you can imagine, she identified with the abandoned, orphaned dogs and cats. She became quite responsive to interpretations about her loss and missing her father.
Her mother was pleased with the progress she made in school and in class. This is an unusual treatment story but a success nonetheless.
Story 2: I also had Cinny in the office with a young boy that I worked with for many years. His family lived in a chronic state of volatility. Lots of anger in the air and near constant arguing and fights either between his parents or the mother and older brother.
Cinny clearly had a calming effect on this boy who became more and more attached to the pup. In fact, so much so, that he convinced his Mom to get a dog at home which they ultimately did.
When Cinny passed away and was no longer in the office, I had to let this boy know. He was clearly deeply saddened and urged me to get another dog. This brought up his own concerns about being vanished from the home because of his outbursts but also the destructive, deadly nature of the high level of aggression in the family.
I didn’t get another pup (still want one) and this boy is no longer in treatment but we certainly got a lot of mileage from Cinny’s presence and then absence.