People seem shocked that this incident at Oshkosh West happened at all. I’m not. This can happen anywhere in the world these days. If not a knife, a gun, if not a gun, a vicious fight. if not a fight running someone over with a car. There are far too many ways to do damage.
 
There has been lots conjecture about bad parenting, the kid was bullied, the teachers don’t teach or care, not enough counselors, mental health issues, kids on drugs. We are really good at jumping to conclusions and it’s usually been wrong and all too often mean spirited.
 
Do people do that out of fear? Or are some people just nasty? Maybe a little of both.
 
It’s important to remember that despite all the bad days and the mean people I still believe in kind days and kind people.
This week in our little town we saw heroes and caring members of our communities. You all have your stories you’ve seen on TV or witnessed first hand or were told by your children of some kind person helping out in both large and small ways.
 
And then there’s this. There are always dogs.
 
I was talking to a parent of a child who had been in the school who heard the shots fired. Yes, this was a bad day for him. But even as everything happened there were kind people. I asked his mom was he going to take advantage of any kind of counseling because of this incident and the ensuing feelings that undoubtedly will rise up as he continues to hear the non-stop news coverage and eventually goes back to school.
“He’ll be fine. He has his dog. His best friend. He talks to him and tells him everything. His dog listens and together they work it out.”
 
We get used to hearing these stories around the country. School. Shooting. Those two words are terrifying. I try not to point the finger, to armchair psychoanalyze the student, to solve every problem. But then this mother who obviously is fearful for her son, who is worried about how he will react, saw her son and his dog together. She knew it would be okay.
My dog is an emotional support dog because of my traumatic brain injury and PTSD from a car wreck. In the first two years, I felt hopeless, the countless hours of counseling did nothing to improve my situation. I’m not going to say I would have been involved in an incident that would be broadcast over the airwaves but I can tell you I was not myself and I did fear the words that came out of my mouth when I was in such physical and emotional pain. I do believe in the right situation I could have physically hurt someone, not because I was a mean bully who had lived a terrible life but because my brain was so damaged. Time is helping. Medication is helping. But my dog is my true miracle.
 
I am beyond grateful that my doctor suggested getting a dog and that my dog loves me and listens to me unconditionally no matter how long my rants or the duration of my tears. This dog saved me from my suicidal tendencies and from possibly doing something that would have caused irreparable damage to someone.
 
I’m wondering as the school system looks into helping students and teachers heal from what happened this week, are they going to bring in therapy dogs. Maybe they should have school dogs in areas so that kids who need a doggy hug can get one to calm themselves down after someone makes fun of them or they feel a failure after a bad grade on a test. It seems like a good idea to me when I hear a mom saying that her son will be okay because of his dog. When I see all my dog has done for me it seems like an idea with merit.
 
I guess we’ll see how everything progresses. For now, despite all the bad days and mean people I still believe in good days and kind people. Plus there are always dogs.