Dec 17, 2019 The Big Fix in Northern Uganda
I’m Meg Daley Olmert and for the last 20 years I’ve been researching the biology of the human-animal bond and its therapeutic effects. In 2011, I joined the Warrior Canine Connection Program at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, an innovative and highly effective animal-assisted intervention that involves US Veterans in the training of service dogs to reduce the symptoms of combat trauma.
The Comfort Dog Project combines trauma counseling with instruction on how to create loving bonds with dogs. Comfort Dog Guardians are taught how to feed, care and communicate with dogs rescued and rehabilitated by The Big Fix. CDP has also discovered how important dog training is to solidify the human-dog bond and enhance the program’s therapeutic impact. Since 2015, thirty-eight Guardians have completed the program and have gone on to receive further instruction on how to be Field Educators. This is particularly impressive considering the severe social shut down suffered by many before they entered the program. The CDP Field Educators find they can now play key roles in the mobile field clinics teaching local dog owners how to care for their dogs and doing dog training demonstrations that amaze and delight all.