This is the moment a support dog cuddled up to his owner after he recognised she was having a panic attack.
Professional dog trainer Amber Oliver taught five-year-old Oakley how to detect changes in her body temperature, breathing and heart rate, which are all indications of a panic attack.
Footage was recorded at an airport which showed Amber appearing distressed. Once Oakley senses this he immediately sits up and tries to comfort her.
At the beginning of the video, Amber, from Massachusetts, is seen sitting down in the airport lobby of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky International Airport. While she appears fine, Oakley can tell something is not right with her.
As soon as she puts her heads in her face the intuitive dog springs into action and begins comforting Amber by rubbing against her legs and getting her attention.
Amber later explained how:
Oakley helps me every single day. Oakley is always watching and paying attention to me making sure to help me whenever needed.
In the wake of the horrific mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida in February this year, comfort dogs were deployed for the students to help them deal with the traumatic experience.
17 people, consisting of students and faculty, lost their lives after 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, a former student, committed the eighth deadliest mass shooting in contemporary US history. To help the young survivors deal with the terrible events which took place that month, charity LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs deployed some friendly therapy dogs as part of the healing process.
Dogs like Ruthie, Sasha, Isiah, Tobias and Chloe – all Golden Retrievers fully trained in the art of empathy – were deployed to the scene.
The LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs train and care for dogs who interact with people going through hard times, travelling the country to visit the bereaved, sick and downtrodden at churches, schools, nursing homes, and hospitals.
In January this year, a corgi went viral after it had comforted a man who was visibly upset. As it turns out the person in question had recently lost his own canine companion. Cora the corgi, who was rescued from a backyard breeding home in July 2017, just before her eighth birthday, is trained as a therapy dog.
Her owner Madison Palm told The Dodo Cora loves meeting every single person she encounters, which is why she decided to get her trained as a therapy dog.
Which is what led to the touching moment between Cora and the stranger at the airport.
Cora just kind of walked around in our little seating area and said hi to everyone who was walking by and sitting near us.
She was taking a snooze so I let go of her leash briefly while I relaxed and had a snack; that is when she woke up and snuck over to him.
Before I could even call her she was already at his feet being loved on.
Palm observed as Cora sat with the traveller, worried she might be bothering him. However, it soon became clear this was not the case.
Palm went on to explain:
I asked him if she was bothering him and with a somber face and watery eyes he said, ‘No, no; I lost my dog last night’.
He scratched behind her ears, patted her on the back and was whispering how cute she was.
He took out his phone to snap a photo and she sat directly in front of him facing him and staying perfectly still for it.
She knows who’s hurting and knows who needs her. I’ve never questioned that.
I’m blown away by her on a daily basis. Who knew a dog, who was unloved for seven and a half years, could have so much love to give?
I think we can all agree dogs are awesome.
If you’re experiencing distressing thoughts and feelings, the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is there to support you. They’re open from 5pm–midnight, 365 days a year. Their national number is 0800 58 58 58, and they also have a webchat service if you’re not comfortable talking on the phone.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to [email protected]