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become a ministerThroughout the course of history, humans and animals have had a special connection. From the domestication of wild dogs, to the bond between a horse and rider, animals have played profound parts in the lives of humans. The following is the story of an Alaskan malamute by the name of Casey, who brought joy to a dying man in the town of Dalton, Georgia. Known as the ordained dog, this pastor pooch is now famous for her loyalty and love to those who need it most.

An Infamous Past

Before Casey's story became known, she was infamous for putting her nose where it just didn't belong. Her owner, Carol Baird, reported that Casey roamed the neighborhood with a curious appetite, tipping over garbage cans and even eating food from other dogs' bowls. This did not please her neighbors. Therefore, Carol and Casey were never touted as the favorites of the neighborhood.

One day, and not to Carol's surprise, she found herself answering her door, telling the man standing before her the name of her dog. However, he had not come to reprimand Carol or demand she lock up her dog. He had come to thank her. Carol was flabbergasted; shocked that Casey had won over the heart of a neighbor.

This man explained that he and wife lived with his own father, who suffered from Alzheimer's. The man went on to explain the difficulties of caring for his father. He and his wife were exhausted and rarely had time to rest and relax. They lived only three blocks away from Carol's house, with a sliding glass door that was open during the warm summer months. To no one's surprise, Casey had suddenly taken a liking to walking right through that door, but it was not for the reason Carol suspected.

The first day that Casey entered the man's house, she made a beeline for his ill father. She sat loyally by his side, letting him caress her face and hair until he fell asleep, soothed by Casey's attentiveness and patience. The man at Carol's door wanted to thank Casey himself, and to let Carol know the amazing intuition of her dog. For the day that this man's father died, Casey did not come to his house. In fact, she had never returned, for she knew that her visits to that house were no longer needed. She was indeed an ordained dog.

A Growing Trend

The story of Casey, the unusual minister, is a great reflection of the movement taking shape in health care facilities across the country. Dogs are now being used to treat people suffering from physical and mental ailments, including:

  • Alzheimer's
  • Depression
  • Autism and Asperger's
  • Recovery from trauma
  • Reading interventions

Even if a canine has not been named as an official ordained dog, it can still provide amazing healing and care. Casey is just one example among many of the incredible spirituality and intuition of dogs.

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