I have always enjoyed newspapers. As a young boy, my father would always read to me and my sister each evening from The Indianapolis News. That was the sister paper to The Indianapolis Star. The news was an evening newspaper and only six days per week. (No Sundays).
The Indianapolis News carried an ongoing story about Uncle Wiggley. We would sit with dad and he would read about Uncle Wiggley and many of the comic strips. Years later, I found an Uncle Wiggley book and would sometimes read from it to our grandsons.
A couple of weeks ago, I picked up our home delivered copy of The Indianapolis Star. I was both shocked and surprised to read the large main headline said, “THERAPY DOG SOOTHES FAMILIES”.
As many know, I have a strong connection with therapy dogs. Our previous dog, Stuart was a Therapy Dog for more than 14 years. The little fellow that we adopted in March is very close to becoming a therapy dog also.
I started reading the article and discovered that the article was about a therapy team that is connected with a coroner’s office in a neighboring county. The article explained that the dog helped staff members as well as visitors that would be dealing with traumatic situations.
I had my first ever connection with a coroner’s office last month when I needed to visit the Marion County Coroner’s office after the passing of our son, Mark. I believe that our dog, Simon was with me on that trip to the coroner’s office. He stayed in the car when I went into the office.
In a matter of a couple of minutes, I made three connections here; Enjoyment of newspapers, therapy dogs and coroner’s offices.
I then continued reading and quickly dropped the newspaper and gave Simon a big hug. I had just read that the name of the therapy dog featured in that article was Simon. That was shocking.
In a couple of days, I made contact with Simon’s human mom. She is a deputy coroner at that facility. I shared some of my information and told her that I have a dog in training to become our third therapy dog over the years and his name is also, Simon. Now we have four connections.
We shared more information and agreed that it would be cool if the two Simons could meet at some point. I think that would be a very nice connection.
I was once again surprised when I checked and discovered that we both are connected with the very same therapy dog organization. Alliance of Therapy dogs is a very wonderful national organization. Stuart and I were connected with them for his entire time as a therapy dog.
I find it amazing how many strong connections that I discovered in that very short period of time.
1. Enjoyment of newspapers.
2. Therapy dogs
3. Coroner’s offices
4. Both Therapy dogs named Simon.
5. We both are members of the same therapy dog organization.
I’m really looking forward to the opportunity for both families to get together. We will probably come away with some very good stories.
I wonder how many times The Indianapolis Star’s main headline was about a therapy dog. It got my attention.
Shonk is a 1960 graduate of Southport High School, a ’63 grad of Indiana Central College (now the University of Indianapolis) and a retired bus driver from Beech Grove Schools. He can be reached through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.