The Story of “Touch” the Dog

The Story of “Touch” the Dog


As all the friends at Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary know, dogs have a unique power to touch lives and promote healing, and Touch has become a model for that.

Touch is a collaboration between Senator Bill Frist, M.D., Mississippi artist Charlie Buckley, and Tracy Roberts, an expert in adolescent education and the power of pet therapy. What started as a blank slate has grown—through the layered imprints of over 200 hands!—into a work of art and a symbol for the power of touch and connection in communication and healing.

As a surgeon, Senator Frist understands the power of touch, both in the operating theater and at the bedside. In her history with therapy dogs, Ms. Roberts has seen animals transform crisis situations and bring peace and comfort in startling ways.

But animals also play powerful roles in private as well. In his creation, Touch toured several schools, making connections with students, hearing their secrets and teaching them about verbal and nonverbal communication.

Online (Touch has a Facebook page! – www.facebook.com/touchthedog), friends from all over the country have shared their personal connections to their animals and told stories of love, support, and friendship that their dogs have offered.

Every hand print—every story—is coming together to make Touch who he’ll be.

Touch’s many colors are a bold reminder of the impact dogs have on our lives. The dogs at Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary might not have quite as much paint, but they, too, have touched many lives.

It’s an honor for Touch to represent their stories as well.

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