Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Texas Story About Horses Comforting Dying Veteran Shows Healing Power of Animals

Gravely ill veteran Roberto Gonzalez is comforted
by one of his horses at a Texas VA hospital
Photo by Lupe Hernandez 
Like everyone else, I was moved by the story that went viral yesterday about the horses that were brought to a Texas Veterans Administration hospital to comfort a dying Vietnam veteran.

Roberto Gonzalez, now 71, was shot and left paralyzed during the war, but went on to become a successful horse trainer in Texas.

In recent months, Gonzalez' health failed and it became apparent he might die soon.

Gonzalez' wife, Rosario, said the horses were her husband's heart and soul, and he had to see them one last time.

So, the horses, Sugar and Ringo, were brought to the Audie L. Murphy Memorial VA Hospital in San Antonio.

One result of that visit was the touching viral photography you see in this post.

"Horses are his life....When the horse came up to him he actually opened his eyes," Rosario said of her husband's reaction to the visit. "They came up to him and I think they were actually kissing him."

It's interesting that often, in our time of need, or when we want comfort, we turn to our pets, and they turn to us. And each other.

I know when either me or my husband are not feeling well, our dogs get close to us, and keep a watch out for us. They also stay close to each other when one of them is not feeling well.

They know what's going on. And I really do think on some level they want to help. And they do.

The horses in Texas and the people that brought them there and the hospital that allowed this all treated a U.S. veteran with the respect and love he deserved.

I just hope that all veterans get the same kind of respect.

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