New Horizons for Touch!

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you have probably seen Touch mentioned several times. He’s a new friend of mine with a fascinating story, and today is a very big day for him!

A few months ago, the Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary in Mount Juliet contacted me about their annual fundraising auction on Oct. 10 at the Omni Nashville. They invited several individuals to contribute dog statues, and I was intrigued.

The sanctuary houses and places older and disabled dogs who otherwise would be euthanized. Michael and Zina Goodin, who founded the sanctuary, believe older dogs make particularly calm and loving companions, and they are committed to finding homes for as many as they can.

These older dogs have touched many lives in their time. The old adage about man’s best friend means something! I started researching the role dogs play in healing and communication, and I’ve been fascinated by what I’ve learned. (I wrote about therapy dogs at Vanderbilt in this Sunday’s Tennessean.)

I worked with Tracy Roberts, an education specialist and therapy dog certifier from Virginia, and Charlie Buckley, a Mississippi landscape artist, to create Touch, a dachshund statue.

Touch visited a girls’ camp in Mississippi to start his journey; we visited Sam Houston Elementary School at this beginning of the school year to get some help and guidance from the students there; and many more have contributed along the way.

He wears a particularly special collar—a collar passed down from two hard working therapy dogs who taught empathy and compassion. A dog’s work is to be both a sponge and a rock: sometimes solid to hold on to, and sometimes absorbing all the sadness and fears in the world.

Touch has been exposed to so many wise and loving people since his birth and he’s learned a lot! He’s up for the challenge.

Today he starts the process of moving on: the online portion of the fundraising auction begins today!

After the online portion of the auction closes on October 6, Touch and other dogs will be auctioned off on October 10 at a fundraiser for the Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary. Until then, you can keep up with Touch and his adventures through his Facebook page. He loves hearing from other dogs about how they help their people and their communities.