Yesterday, I was told that our Canine Hope programme is ‘controversial.’
You’re damn right it is!
The word ‘controversy’ was coined from the Latin ‘controversia’, as a composite of ‘controversus’, which means, ‘turned in an opposite direction.’
You bet we’re turning things in the opposite direction! The reason I wrote my first book, about a young rape survivor and her rescue dog, was because I was fed up with hearing that one (admittedly, shitty) experience would mean I had to face a ‘lifelong journey of recovery’, blah, blah, blah. No thank you, I quite fancy a ‘lifelong journey of adventure,’ amongst other, FUN, things.
I was talking with someone about the fact we’re offering a choice; a choice for survivors to learn about resilience in a different way, a choice to bring a new level of happiness into their lives and a choice to strive for anything and everything they want from life.
It’s a choice.
Alongside that choice, there’s no judgement. Everyone’s experience is different and the way they choose to take their life forward is absolutely, 100% up to them. Of course, it is!
We’re not saying we have ‘the’ answer. That would be silly; nobody has ‘the’ answer. We’re saying we have something to offer, something we know can change lives, but only if that person CHOOSES to change their life.
Really, we’re just a catalyst, offering a new way of thinking and a new way of building resilience.
Our catalyst is always our canine co-tutor. They can show the men and women on our programmes that there is life after trauma and that life can be AWESOME! We have fun, we laugh, we engage with each other and we unapologetically say that each and every one of us has a CHOICE about how we live our lives.
We choose happiness, hope and showing up as our best selves. Guess who we learnt that from?! Yep, our canine co-tutors!