In high school, I was a reporter and photographer for our school newspaper and year book. I remember those days with such fondness because I so enjoyed what I was doing. In fact, I had every intention, at that time, of pursuing journalism as a career. Those were the days when a newspaper actually reported the news rather than manufacturing it. You never saw a newspaper that backed one political party over another. They served and defended the everyday citizen against large corporations and our own government.
Times have changed drastically and obviously not for the better. Today, newspapers have diminished in both size and stature. Many have merged, others have reduced their printing schedule from 7 days a week to just 2 or 3, almost all have reduced their page numbers, and many more have disappeared altogether.
The changes don’t stop there. Consider the quality of the news today. I understand the need to report what’s going on as we struggle through some of the greatest challenges this country has ever faced. However, I don’t understand why 9 out of 10 stories printed today must be negative. And don’t tell me that there is no good news to report. There are plenty of very positive things happening in this country today that deserve to be on the front page of every paper from coast to coast. I also don’t believe in the argument that people don’t want to read positive stories. Those making that claim work for newspapers.
I share these beliefs because I have again come across a heartwarming story that will put a smile on the faces of anyone yearning for good news. I recently heard, for the very first time, the phrase “Certified Therapy Dogs.” My first thought was something along the lines of a seeing eye dog, but I couldn’t have been farther off base.
In our country today there are more than 30,000 dogs that have become certified as therapy dogs. These wonderful animals help people recover from strokes, accidents, or domestic violence. Research shows that the comfort they provide patients helps heal them and improve their quality of life.
Click on this link to see a short video about a loving dog named Baxter, and you’ll see how these animals change lives in miraculous ways. They bring tremendous comfort and joy to autistic children, nursing facilities, hospitals, schools, special needs classrooms, and other facilities by invitation or prior approval.
I read about one of these wonderful animals in Parade Magazine. They told the story of a black lab named “Boo” who lives in New York with his owner. Apparently, a previously unresponsive 94-year-old woman at a care facility spoke her first words after visiting several times with the lab. Suddenly one day as “Boo” arrived for his regular visit, she calmly said, “Hello Boo.”
Isn’t it interesting that even “man’s best friend” can demonstrate leadership when the need arises?
Research shows that the comfort these animals provide patients helps heal them and improve their quality of life. This is the kind of story we need to see more of. It’s quite obvious that today’s media has no intention to return to the “good news” stories we need so badly in these trying times. The task now falls to us to carry the torch … to share this story and so many others like it with as many people as we possibly can in hopes of restoring the faith so many have lost. We can make a difference. I brought this particular story this far. Now it’s up to you to see that others have access to some much-needed “good news.” Let’s let Baxter and Boo know they have our support and appreciation by passing this video on to others. Thanks!