March 11, 2013  

A young pit bull instinctively knows the therapeutic power of touch

By Nicole Scrima

The year Capone, my 3 year old pit bull, came into my life things were tough. I had just lost a best friend, my grandma was diagnosed with brain cancer, and I was going through some pretty serious depression. Even though he was only a pup, he somehow knew just what to do to make me feel better. If I was crying or upset he’d just lay by my side as close as he could get. We instantly became inseparable and I finally felt like I had something I could trust. He gave me a reason to leave my bedroom. He gave me a way to get out of the rut I had fallen into. I walked him every day, and took him everywhere I went. He gave me a way to start conversations and I quickly became more confident and for once in my life I was outgoing.

By the time he was a year old my grandma passed away. I was heartbroken, but he lay by me all night long and kissed away my tears. He stayed close by my side and made sure he was always touching me. He made everything better just by being in my life.

He took care of me through everything that happened in the next year. There were breakups, high school graduation, saying goodbye to all my friends, and starting college; he kept me calm and confident through all of it. Then, when my uncle passed away last November, the whole family was devastated. He managed to make his rounds, going from person to person just standing there while they petted him. It’s almost like he knows the therapeutic effect of petting him. I realized that not only can he make my life better, but he can make others smile too. He’s gone to day camps, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers, and he never fails to make everyone smile. I love seeing him bring other people as much happiness as he brings me.

We started agility classes when he was 10 months old and it made our bond even stronger. We’ve been training endlessly for 2 years. When we’re training every worry I have escapes me. I don’t think about the endless amount of things I have to do, the worries in my life, or what’s going on with my family. We’re a team and we help each other to succeed. All that matters on the turf is the two of us.

I take care of him by feeding him, training him, and giving him a home, but that’s nothing compared to what he does for me. He keeps me strong, he makes me smile every day, and he gives me something to love. I can trust him and I know he’ll be right by my side any time I need him. He’s my best friend, my guardian angel, and I couldn’t make it through without him. He came into my life exactly when I needed him most and he’s been performing miracles nonstop ever since. He is my everything, and I’m so thankful to have such an incredible dog in my life.

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