Therapy dogs helping West community to heal

Friday, April 19, 2013 - 4:00pm

As the West community tries to cope with Wednesday's tragedy, a group of furry four-legged therapists are in town to make the healing process a little easier.

Many are in a state of shock after Wednesday's deadly explosion.

"It's very sad," said Camille Bager, a former West resident and dog trainer. "I think the reality of the situation will really hit once we can go down there."

And while it's hard for any of us to understand what the West community is dealing with, one unique group, is here to try and help.

Therapy dogs have traveled from across the state to West to help provide comfort for those who need it.

"Dogs live in the moment," said Therapy Pet Pals of Texas handler, Arlen Zander. "They don't worry about what has happened or what might happen. They just live in the here and now and say this is how we're going to deal with it and we're going to be ok.

Zander says dogs are helpful in disaster situations in more ways than one.

"We're providing comfort, we're providing stress reduction, lowering people's heart rate and their blood pressure and basically just letting them visit with the dog to unwind a little bit in a very stressful situation," said Zander.

The therapy dogs will remain in West as long as they're needed... bringing a smile to everyone's face in a time of darkness.

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