All Shapes and Sizes

Elizabeth - Christiansburg, Virginia
Entered on February 21, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

All Shapes and Sizes

Elizabeth Young

I am a 16 year old junior in high school that has come to realize that miracles come in all different sizes. My grandparents live in Illinois. My grandmother is in a nursing home because of her Alzheimer’s disease, and my grandfather just had open heart surgery. Their life has been turned around in the last few weeks as has mine. Old age and sickness can be traumatizing. From speaking with my grandparents I get the feeling that they feel that they have not done enough in their lives for their age. Sometimes having this attitude makes one give up on the rest of their life. Occasionally something happens to give them a new perspective. This new perspective, a miracle, comes as a lick in the face which has special healing powers. I believe miracles can come in all shapes and sizes of packaging – these miracles are dogs.

Dogs have saved two of my family members. One family member was my cousin. He owns a black lab named Lady. Lady was able to sense if my cousin was about to have a seizure and warn him. He would then be able to take precautions and either take medicine or get on the floor to safety. Another relative that a dog has helped and overall has saved was my grandfather. He recently had open heart surgery. The surgery had made him depressed. He stopped eating, didn’t talk much, and didn’t want to get out of bed. Then Liberty appeared – an 120 pound, three year old, black, long-haired Newfoundland. Liberty is a therapy dog. She was the best medicine that my grandfather could have gotten. Liberty did amazing things for my grandfather. She showed my grandfather that he should not give up and helped him realize that he should live his life to the fullest. My grandfather’s attitude went from being depressed to laughing and joking around with the hospital staff and being really upbeat. One day when my grandpa went to physical therapy the therapist knew that Liberty had just gone to visit my grandpa. Two things gave it away – my grandpa was covered in long black hair and he was doing much better with the physical movement and strenuous activities than he had been the day before. My grandfather soon got much better and made it home safely about a week later, and has been recovering wonderfully ever since. My grandpa does not get to see Liberty anymore since he left the hospital, and he says that he really misses having Liberty around.

Dogs have a special healing power that affects everyone. Dogs can be there to give love, support, or even comfort. When people live alone they tend to get dogs so that they can have protection and someone to talk to. Dogs do not judge and they are always happy to see you. I have seen several dogs at the hospital and I now know that miracles come in all shapes, colors, and sizes.