January 04, 2022
Dogs as Healers | Dog Edition #46

You’ve probably found yourself seeking comfort from your dog when times are tough; perhaps your dog has even helped you process and understand difficult emotions. So what is it about dogs that makes them such excellent therapists?

For centuries dogs have been regarded as (hu)man’s best friend; but for many of us, sharing our lives with dogs is more than a preferred lifestyle. You may have felt it before– the sense that your dog has a massively positive impact on your overall well-being. Well, you’re not alone!

There is a reason why dogs are used professionally in a therapeutic setting. Dogs are natural-born healers, capable of providing the most primal form of comfort, and helping people process trauma. If you look closely, your dog may even present you with opportunities for self-reflection and personal growth. In this episode we hear from two very different people who have witnessed the incredible healing power of dogs, and discuss the ways in which dogs can have a profound positive impact on our mental health.

About Karen Storey:

Karen Storey grew up in Brighton, Michigan and has been a teacher in the Brighton Area School District for the last 17 years. Karen and her family are very much engrained in the local community; her husband Scott works for Brighton Area Schools as a Behavioral Management Specialist, and their four boys all attend Brighton schools.

Karen’s unique gift of looking outside the box to find solutions and support for students, staff and the community is what led her to found the nation's first school district-owned therapy dog program.

Website: https://baspackofdogs.weebly.com/

About Ward Serrill:

Ward’s first feature-length film, The Heart of the Game, shot over seven years, debuted at the Toronto Film Festival in 2005 and was released nationally by Miramax Films in 2006. The film won high praise across the country from the likes of Jay Leno, Ebert and Roeper (“an Oscar level piece of work”), People Magazine, USA Today, O Magazine, Rolling Stone, and others. He has created more than 90 writings and short films including Building One House with Robert Redford, and Wild America with Sissy Spacek.

Ward’s new memoir, To Crack the World Open: Solitude, Alaska, and a Dog Named Woody depicts a heartfelt coming of age story about a dog as co-pilot into self-discovery. “From a remote cabin in the rugged rainforest of the Alaskan wilderness, where the untamed landscape tumbles into the ocean, a remarkable yellow Labrador retriever named Woody helped an exile from corporate America seek a fierce freedom.”