The Unlikely Healer

woman lying on the floor with her dog

As I sat in the Physical Therapy hospital waiting room, I watched the others. The middle aged woman in great discomfort, one arm in a soft cast, the old man with vacant eyes, attended by his disinterested companion, the young child wheelchair bound with shriveled limbs, confined perhaps since birth. A heavy atmosphere of pain and resignation filled the room. No one made eye contact. I looked down at the book I was reading. You could have heard a pin fall.

Then everything changed. I looked up quickly as gasps and little sounds of pleasure filled the air. The newcomer was quite hairy and drooled a bit. But he was magic. As with one accord, all hands in the room reached out to touch him. The place became filled with light and laughter. And the stranger reveled in it. With head uplifted and tail wagging, the therapy dog transformed the room. And the broken people, at least temporarily, were mended.