The Vet Whisperers

Hippotherapy, it’s called: horses that calmly offer the wounded a chance to re-find connection, a mutual gaze, to venture a stroke of a hand across a neck, proposing the possibility of trust once again. In Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, Straw, a mare once gravely injured herself, offers herself up as equa semper fidelis et parata, always faithful and prepared to engage combat veterans in a silent conversation about what it means to heal, to move forward again.

In War, the soldier at another soldier’s side is not merely a back-up, but rather an extension of one’s very being, a part of one’s self who just happens to be a few steps ahead, behind, a chunk of one’s soul who might, moments from now, be propelled into oblivion, leaving in the wake a crater in land and heart that dares anyone to try to fill it.

When one has a gaping hole in one’s essence, one often does not find comfort in language spoken by any human, no matter how loved she or he may be. Yet a gentle nudge along the edges of the wound by a horse, a dog, can possibly begin its closure, one tail wag, one snort at a time, an unspoken whisper to remind man now, not beast, that peace, even if it never seemed possible again, still perhaps can be.

3 responses

  1. I agree 100%. My boyfriend’s dog has helped him so much. To see him light up,and smile brings so much joy to my heart. I know I helped him, but that puppy helps in ways I can’t. He lost his dog last year, he’s had him for 3 years, it was very hard for him, and i suggested getting a puppy for him. It took time for him to accept it, and decide to. Once he did, he needed the right one. He now has a beautiful puppy named Bam-Bam. It’s amazing to see what animals can do for people.

  2. Oh I see.
    Limiting yourself to 1000 characters means 6 blogs a week— ☺
    Really, I think it’s a great exercise.

    Aimee

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