A to Z Challenge: Shadow and Safe Haven

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T.G.I.F.! Have you been following my A to Z Challenge story this month? What a journey! I have been studying and trying to give a voice for child abuse and sexual assault awareness this month.

Today, I am excited to introduce: SHADOW. Shadow is my beautiful German/Australian Shepherd mix dog, and what a beauty she is!

Dog Therapy:

Dog/Pet therapy is probably one of the best ways I personally know of to move from victim to survivor. If you have ever been through a traumatizing time, you know that a furry friend can be your best advocate in times of silence.


There were dozens of times when I was knee-deep in tissues and my face looked like a punching bag thanks to all the tears. And who was always there for me? Shadow. As if she has a sixth sense, Shadow would come to find me and burrow in close for a cuddle. And this a dog who does not like to be cuddled close.


At Safe Haven, their dogs are seen as excellent therapists for child abuse victims because they:

  • Do not judge
  • Can provide safe, non-threatening touch & channel for communication
  • What a child sees is what they get
  • A four-legged spa

Let’s Talk:

Do you have a four-legged pal? Are they always good for a safe and comforting hug?

The Joyous Living: Dogs Make Some of the Best Therapists #atozchallenge

P.S. In no way am I suggesting you do NOT visit an actual therapist when necessary.

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  1. Kathleen Valentine

    April 22, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    I have learned so much in recent months about animal therapy. My most recent novel included a woman who was developing a horse farm that offered equine therapy. Animals are incredible companions and so non-judgmental.

    Meet My Imaginary Friends

    1. Joy

      April 22, 2016 at 9:00 pm

      Awesome! What's the title of that novel?

  2. Nilanjana Bose

    April 22, 2016 at 9:15 pm

    I don't have an animal friend, but I totally agree that they make amazingly sensitive, caring and non-judgmental friends. Shadow is lovely.

    Ninja Minion, A-Z 2016

    1. Joy

      April 23, 2016 at 12:06 am

      Thanks Nilanjana. Shadow's pretty awesome πŸ™‚

  3. betty

    April 22, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    She is a beautiful dog!! Sounds wonderful that she is part of your life πŸ™‚

    No, not currently any dog pal here, but hopefully soon πŸ™‚


    1. Joy

      April 23, 2016 at 12:07 am

      hope you find a special furry friend πŸ™‚

  4. Courtney Turner

    April 23, 2016 at 12:10 am

    Shadow looks gorgeous. I've heard horse therapy is also really effective for people – there was an article I read in a magazine once. BTW, I'm admiring the layout and design of your blog, it's very clean and simple. Maui Jungalow

    1. Joy

      April 23, 2016 at 12:15 am

      Thanks Courtney. Newish layout so appreciate the positive feedback!

  5. Patricia Lynne

    April 23, 2016 at 12:27 am

    Shadow is beautiful! I follow a Youtuber who recently got a dog and he found it helped so much with his depression and anxiety issues. People shouldn't underestimate how helpful animals can be to healing.

    ~Ninja Minion Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

    1. Joy

      April 23, 2016 at 12:30 am

      O that is good news! Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  6. Erica @ ChildOrganics

    April 23, 2016 at 1:41 am

    I can completely relate to this post. Dogs can be healers. Pets in general can help when faced with grief and other issues.

  7. A Tarkabarka HΓΆlgy

    April 23, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    That's one very photogenic puppy! πŸ™‚
    I do have a dog, and he is the best source of endorphin in the house πŸ™‚ All cuddles and no questions. They also bring therapy dogs to campus every semester during exams week… they are super popular.

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    The Multicolored Diary

    1. Joy

      April 23, 2016 at 8:29 pm

      Shadow is beautiful in photos but silly girl hates selfies. Sees the iPhone and runs or hides her face πŸ˜›

  8. TheCyborgMom

    April 23, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    Shadow is beautiful! I'm so glad you have such a wonderful four legged friend! I adopted my Emmie girl last year, and she has quickly become my best friend. I suffer from chronic pain, and Emmie helps make the days a little less bad πŸ™‚ Dogs truly are man's best friend. I love seeing them work as therapy animals.

    1. Joy

      April 23, 2016 at 8:47 pm

      She is very special. We wish we had trained her as a therapy dog when she was a puppy.

  9. Deniz Bevan

    April 25, 2016 at 11:17 am

    Aww, she's so happy looking. Sending cuddles!

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