Safe PassageStart Date: 01/12/2022
Willow and I visited safe passage this afternoon. I am always amazed how a K9 (especially a HOPE dog) can bring such comfort and joy to those who are suffering in silence. We are so glad to be able to be part of their recovery process.
Right after my arrival the family came into the facility, the girls ages 4, 7 and 9 were so excited to see Willow at the entrance. The mom calmed them down and Blake quickly lead us all into the playroom while the mom finished checking in. The three girls were very high energy and I was able to have them each meet Willow individually while each girl patiently awaited their turn. The mom and counselor and receptionist came in to thank us and to make sure the girls calmed down then they left the room. There was another volunteer in the room as well. The girls each took turns meeting Willow and I showed them as a group some basic commands she can do. Each girl was excited to learn the commands to make Willow sit, down and a few more. They each nicely awaited their turn. They viewed her following hand signals and verbal commands as "magic". Several staff had heard we were in the building and came to visit in the playroom. The girls were excited and proud to show each staff member Willow's "magic" of listening to them and signaling her to sit and lay down. The staff was impressed with Willow and each spent time petting her. The girls were most interested in each controlling the leash and wanting to walk Willow. It came in very handy to have a second leash in my pack just for that purpose, so they did settle for double leash walking around the room, each taking turns on the second leash. Three counselors then came in the room to bring each girl to their interview. Each girl wanting Willow to go with them. They made the girls understand that Willow needed to stay in the playroom and we would be here when they returned. I took Willow outside on a quick break after the girls left and as I was leaving the playroom, found the mother of the girls sitting in the waiting area crying. She asked to see Willow and we visited for a few minutes and she thanked me again for being here for her family. After a much needed break, Willow and I waited for each to return from their interview, and visited with staff. Upon the girls return to the room at different intervals, Willow was the first thing they wanted to see. Willow was calm and laying down so they laid on the floor next to her. We played some quiet board games (while Willow took a short nap) and did some coloring while waiting for all girls to return. After about another 30 minutes the mom came into the room to get the girls. The girls were all excited to show her Willow and said they didn't want to leave yet. The older girl told her mom that she "loves this place"!Agency: Safe Passage