Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Therapy Dog McDuff's Life Lesson

McDuff, my Scottish terrier therapy dog, taught me many valuable lessons on our nine-year journey. I wrote about them in my book, Life with McDuff: Lessons Learned from a Therapy Dog. One of those lessons changed the way I look at others to this day. He taught me not to judge others by outer appearances, but to look past their mental and physical disabilities.

McDuff was featured on Las Vegas KVBC-TV news and the front page of the Henderson, Nevada, Anthem View newspaper for his astounding therapy work with five individuals at Opportunity Village Project PRIDE Program. The Las Vegas Review Journal described them as having the most severe mental and physical disabilities in the state of Nevada. Yet, McDuff connected with them in amazing ways.

From the first time that he saw them, he accepted and loved them unconditionally. Me, I wanted to get away from them as fast as I could. In time I came to accept and love them, too. McDuff didn’t judge by appearances. He looked past the outer and into the heart. Because of the example he set, I became a better person.

You can read the book chapter, “Project Pride at Opportunity Village,” about McDuff’s therapy dog work and the lesson he taught me on my web site, www.lifewithmcduff.com.