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Vash01
12-19-2012, 05:38 PM
Not necessarily. I was terrified of large dogs as a primary school age child. I would love to know if the people handle these dogs are prepared to understand that the presence of a large dog, docile and quiet as they are trained to be, is the last thing that may calm some children. I honestly would still find someone expecting me to be comforted by an animal I would prefer to just not be around to be adding insult to injury.


I would not want dogs of any size brought to comfort or console me. I know that Americans think dogs are the greatest thing in the universe for absolutely everything, but there are still a few people out there who just don't want them around and would not find their presence at all helpful. There are also those that are allergic.

PDilemma,

Like you, I have always been very afraid of dogs. I still am. It's possible that even a trained therapy dog would scare me. However, I know that those dogs bring great comfort to many. Most children LOVE dogs, of any size. I think it's wonderful that they were brought in after the tragedy.

Sparks
12-19-2012, 05:44 PM
If you're afriad of dogs, you can walk away.

BlueRidge
12-19-2012, 05:45 PM
Going back to the Asperger's discussion, I just came across this:


Dr. Ami Klin, an expert on autism at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, said that any tie between the Newtown shootings and Asperger’s or autism “is an enormous disservice” to those whose lives are affected by these developmental disorders, which should not be confused with mental illness.

“Any human condition can coexist with violence,” he said, but no correlation should be drawn.

In fact, he said, those with Asperger’s “are much more likely to be victims rather than victimizers.”

“This is not about autism,” Dr. Klin said. “It’s about mental illness and guns that those with mental illness should have no access to.”

As I read this, it sounds strongly stigmatizing of individuals with mental illness and it seems odd that someone concerned about that regarding Asperger's/Autism Spectrum disorders would not be aware of how it sounds.

http://publiceditor.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/18/adam-lanza-aspergers-and-a-misleading-connection-with-violence/

skatesindreams
12-19-2012, 05:46 PM
A PTA Mom's response to Huckabee. (http://educatefortexas.wordpress.com/2012/12/17/an-open-letter-from-a-pta-mom-to-mike-huckabee-a-message-for-those-who-long-for-gods-presence-in-schools/)
Quite touching...

This should be sent to all those who have expressed similar opinions!

BlueRidge
12-19-2012, 05:46 PM
PDilemma,

Like you, I have always been very afraid of dogs. I still am. It's possible that even a trained therapy dog would scare me. However, I know that those dogs bring great comfort to many. Most children LOVE dogs, of any size. I think it's wonderful that they were brought in after the tragedy.


If you're afriad of dogs, you can walk away.

Sparks, have you had any experience with therapy dogs or their handlers? I haven't but I have a very hard time believing they aren't well aware that not all folks want to be around dogs and prepared to make sure no one who doesn't is frightened by the therapy dogs.

Vash01
12-19-2012, 05:59 PM
Sparks, have you had any experience with therapy dogs or their handlers? I haven't but I have a very hard time believing they aren't well aware that not all folks want to be around dogs and prepared to make sure no one who doesn't is frightened by the therapy dogs.

One woman in my toastmasters club brought her therapy dog (she used to train them) to our club meeting. She was very sensitive to the fact that I was afraid of dogs. As it turned out, the dog was not scary at all. She sat quietly throughout our meeting. :)

Sparks
12-19-2012, 06:01 PM
Sparks, have you had any experience with therapy dogs or their handlers? I haven't but I have a very hard time believing they aren't well aware that not all folks want to be around dogs and prepared to make sure no one who doesn't is frightened by the therapy dogs.

I have a little experience. I have been around therapy dogs in nursing homes and even on the inpatient unit of the local mental health center.
I had a beautiful, large dog (RIP) who was not trained as a therapy dog, but he thought he was. We would go to the park which was across the street from a day care center for the elderly and the disabled. He always wanted to go see them when they were at the park. I always asked if it was okay for him to visit. He brought them a lot of joy and took so much from it.
Currently, I'm looking for a rescue with the right personality to train him/her to be a therapy dog...mostly for me at this point in my life.

As I read this, it sounds strongly stigmatizing of individuals with mental illness and it seems odd that someone concerned about that regarding Asperger's/Autism Spectrum disorders would not be aware of how it sounds.
Agreed. In fact, in my experience mentally ill individuals are more likely to be victims as well. I have lost too many clients to abuse and violence...largely due to the stigma and fear. :(

taf2002
12-19-2012, 06:50 PM
And our local media is absolutely disgusting. Even before they knew a local couple are the grandparents of one of the victims, they had a crew go to CT to report on the shooting. Why in the world do local stations from all over the country have to do this to just stand outside and talk about it. All the major networks are there. All the cable news stations are there. Stay home and stay out of the way.

And to top it off, they converged on the grandparents neighborhood to try to talk to people here. Why? Vultures!!!! Giving reports standing across the street from their church. Fortunately, the church referred them to the website for prayers. Geez.

Have you read any of the articles about the shootings or any of the interviews? If so, you are part of the problem. So am I. We call them vultures but then we voratiously read what they wrote & we look at the photos they took obtrusively. Some media people don't know where to draw the line but the majority of the press are just doing the job of informing the public, a job WE want them to do.

reckless
12-19-2012, 06:51 PM
Regarding therapy dogs, their owners are absolutely taught to be mindful of people who are fearful of dogs and to avoid them if they don't want the dog to approach. As for the dogs, they are trained extremely carefully and put through rigorous tests to make sure they are docile. My neighbor trained her German Shepherd for a few years to be a therapy dog, but she failed the testing because, despite being one of the sweetest and calmest dogs I've ever known, she would occasionally try to climb into the lap of the person who was petting her. That happened maybe one time out of 20, but it was deemed too much of a risk for a therapy dog.

Rob
12-19-2012, 07:12 PM
Everything I have read has said that mass shooters are actually difficult to classify, other than they are typically white males and seem to fit into three general categories: revenge killings (killing people they know and possibly others who happen to be around); representative killings (murdering representatives of a type of people who have supposedly injured the killer) and complete strangers (because the whole world is against the killer, so it doesn't matter who dies). And most of them suffer from some form of paranoia.

The psychiatrist I saw wasn't trying to categorize the cause of the person's pain or paranoia or the type of victim. He was addressing questions about why the person would shoot a bunch of people he knew or didn't know and why didn't he didn't just kill himself first and leave the victims out of it if that is what he was going to do. He just said whatever the paranoia/psychosis, whatever convoluted reason for choosing a particular type of victim or location, they often truly believe that the rampage will alleviate or cure their problem so they can live in peace. They don't intend to die at all. This is because they are so wound up in their pain and psychosis that they think they can walk away from it cured. For example, the person who wants to molest children might kill children to make himself stop wanting to molest them. He is too consumed by his illness and his mission to realize that 1) he could be shot by responders, 2) at best, he'd be in jail for the rest of his life, 3) he isn't eliminating all children from the world, 4) he isn't addressing his illness at all. Then when he does it, he has a moment of "what have I done" and turns the gun on himself.

Of course this isn't always what happens, but it does provide context for the mass shooting/suicide variety. I think Klebold and Harris intended to inflict pain on their school (and their alleged tormenters/people/groups they hated), then kill themselves. And people like the Batman movie shooter, Colin Ferguson, the McDonald's shooter, etc. didn't have the moment of lucidity and didn't kill themselves. They were either captured or shot and killed by responders.

The latest I saw on the morning news:

Someone has found their 5th grade class T-shirt from Sandy Hook with Adam Lanza's name on it as one of his/her classmates there. The school had the kids all sign and had T-shirts made for the kids with all of their signatures on it. Adam Lanza's signature is on it. Apparently, a new middle school was built so half way through his 5th grade year, the 5th/6th graders were transferred to the new school in January, and Sandy Hook became K through 4. So he was there for at least one semester according to the report. I will look for a link. Found one: http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/usatoday/article/1777525


Then the media has latched onto the report that Lanza's mother told a friend she had found a school (institution?) in Washington State for him. She allegedly had begun legal proceedings under seal so that she could commit him there (according to the story, he was over 18 so she didn't have authority to force him to go, but the records are under seal because he is under 21). It was reported that he knew this was going on. I don't know how much can be known about this if the records are under seal. I don't have a clue about what Connecticut law might say on this matter. I also don't know how close a "family friend" this source might be:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/19/adam-lanza-motive_n_2329508.html

Aha, so called family friend's dad is a little miffed at his son:

http://thestir.cafemom.com/in_the_news/148416/was_adam_lanzas_motive_his

He smashed his hard drive before he left the house so it is unclear whether they can recover much data (if it contains any explanation at all).

And I doubt the dog handlers are dumping dogs on people who don't want to be with the dogs. For me, a dog is nice, but a purring cat would be even better.

All I can say is that if I ever do something evil, I wonder what people I haven't spoken to in 15 or 20 years will say about it.

BlueRidge
12-19-2012, 07:20 PM
Are there therapy cats? It would seem like there would be.

Jenny
12-19-2012, 07:25 PM
Have you read any of the articles about the shootings or any of the interviews? If so, you are part of the problem. So am I. We call them vultures but then we voratiously read what they wrote & we look at the photos they took obtrusively. Some media people don't know where to draw the line but the majority of the press are just doing the job of informing the public, a job WE want them to do.

I don't think it's as black and white as that. The public wants information, analysis and answers, that's for sure - but I don't think people are specifically asking media to harass families and the community in the process.

There's another piece of this too, and that's all the people willing to talk to media. Not those whose job it is to do so such as police officials, but random neighbours, parents, teachers, and parents who are letting their kids talk. With so many willing, I can't blame media for stopping someone on the street and asking if they'd make a comment, or even knocking on the door or phoning a person with some connection to the story. Where the line is perhaps crossed is when media loiter around, film people or their houses/workplaces who don't want to talk, sniff around with the neighbours for gossip, etc.

And as for those people talking about their own neighbours and coworkers, unless they've got something positive to say (like the teacher who wanted to let people know how brave her coworkers and the children had been), I blame them as much as the media for sharing gossip and speculation. Ditto for "unnamed sources close to the investigation who wish to remain anonymous as they are not authorized to speak" - I'm hoping that practice is reviewed after all the misinformation from these kinds of sources in this case.

Jenny
12-19-2012, 07:26 PM
Are there therapy cats? It would seem like there would be.

Cats are a lot harder to train, but I have seen studies that say spending time with cats can have all kinds of health benefits. I know mine are a great help to me :)

Sparks
12-19-2012, 07:29 PM
Cats are a lot harder to train, but I have seen studies that say spending time with cats can have all kinds of health benefits. I know mine are a great help to me :)

Mine is too, but I can't help but giggle at the thought of cats 'trained' to do everything you want them to do.

Rob
12-19-2012, 07:35 PM
Are there therapy cats? It would seem like there would be.

I have read about nursing homes that have resident cats that sit with the resident people. I don't think they are trained to do this; they are selected because they have a calm friendly demeanor, rather than a snarky one.