Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Cinnamon Makes Jonathan Laugh

Cinnamon Roll #2

On Tuesday evening, July 23, 2013. Jonathan and I were walking our Golden Retriever Cinnamon around our city block. Half way through the walk, Jonathan picked up a stick to play with as he is accustomed to doing. I don't necessarily think that is an autism trait, but maybe boys just like to play with sticks.

After a while Cinnamon snatched the stick out of Jonathan's hands and started eating the stick. I think Cinnamon thought Jonathan was playing with him or feeding him. This made Jonathan laugh. I reminded Jonathan after this that Cinnamon was his very own dog. After that I got Jonathan to hold Cinnamon's leash (with me also holding the leash as well) for a while as we continued our walk. This made both boy and dog (and Dad) happy.

I have wrote about this incident because Jonathan seemed to be genuinely happy with his dog. Sometimes seemingly small moments can make a tremendous difference.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Ruby Tingum

Golden Light #8 is Ruby Tingum.

Ruby Tingum is a Golden Retriever who lives with Bruce and Caroline Tingum's family in Encinitas, California (part of San Diego County). She is an autism service dog who is very gentle around children and received her training from Tender Loving Canines Assistance Dogs, Inc. Ruby's role is to protect Garrett Tingum, a 10 year old boy with severe autism. Ruby Tingum is a Golden Light for the help she provides to the Tingum family and Garrett Tingum as he navigates through life.

In addition to autism, Garrett Tingum has mild cerebral palsy, apraxia (motor planning disorder), and pica (eats non-edible items). Garrett's most dangerous behavior is his tendency to escape his home and run into the street or go into people's homes. Ruby has been especially trained to find Garrett when he goes missing. Here is a video on Ruby's story of comforting the Tingum family.

Caroline Tingum described Ruby and Garrett's friendship in the above video, "Garrett has a friend. He's never had a real friend before. You know you don't think of children with autism as being lonely just because they can't express it. Ruby has filled that void I think."

Special thanks to Ruby and all the talented and loving dogs who are making a difference around the world for autism. If you liked this post you may like to read about other Golden Lights with the label "Autism". Ruby Tingum has also been featured on our Autism Light blog as Autism Light #288.

Golden Light Honors the Lives of Golden Retrievers.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Charles F. Doran Quote

Folks will know how large your soul is, by the way you treat a dog! (Source).

For other quotes go to the links on the Golden Light Quote Blog.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Lutheran Church Charities K9 Comfort Dog Ministry

Golden Light #7 is the Lutheran Church Charities K9 Comfort Dog Ministry

The Lutheran Church Charities K9 Comfort Dog Ministry is based in Addison, Illinois. The ministry's Golden Retriever dogs are frequently deployed to scenes of disasters to comfort people. They have comforted people, especially children, at the site of recent disasters including, the Boston Marathon disaster, Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, Hurricane Sandy, Indiana flooding, and the Joplin, Missouri tornado. Most recently they have been invited to Prescott, Arizona where 19 firefighters perished on July 1, 2013. The Lutheran Church Charities K9 Comfort Dog Ministry is a Golden Light because of the way it has helped the Golden Retrievers to spread comfort by the hard work they put in to train and facilitate travel trips around the United States for the dogs in the Lutheran Church Charities K9 Comfort Dog Ministry to do their ministry.

Here is a video of the news story when the Golden Retrievers of the Lutheran Church Charities K9 Comfort Dog Ministry came to Newton, Connecticut to comfort those impacted by the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in December, 2012.

In the above CNN news story, Tim Hetzner, Lutheran Church Charities President, said about the impact of the dogs, "To some people and we've seen this with children, it brings a sense of calmness in times of confusion for them during this period. To some it helps them process their grief, they'll start crying and they'll hug the dog, and to some children they'll come up sad and they'll walk away happy."
The following is a video where Tim Hetzner explains more about the Christian theology behind this ministry of the Lutheran Church. 
In the above video Tim Hetzner notes that all the Comfort Dogs have their own business cards and Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, and email for people to be able to continue to interact with a specific Golden Retriever in the future. Golden Light hopes to spotlight some of the specific Comfort Dogs and their social media presence in the future. If you would like to nominate a specific Comfort Dog please leave a comment with the dog's name and the reason why you feel they are a Golden Light.

You can follow more about the work of Lutheran Church Charities K9 Comfort Dogs at the following social media pages.
For another blogger's posts on the K9 Comfort Dogs visit The Golden Daily blog and search the tags for "Lutheran Church Charities".  

Golden Light Honors the Lives of Golden Retrievers.

The Lutheran Church Charities Comfort Dog Ministry Logo was used with permission of Lutheran Church Charities.