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Taking Command Of The Situation

, , , , , | Related | December 14, 2019

My son was pulled out of public school at seven due to his teacher racially abusing him in the classroom. In the days after the incident, my son couldn’t sleep, and if he did, it was only for a few hours at a time before he’d wake from nightmares. He wouldn’t sleep in his own bed; he was either with my husband and me, or with his older brother, who didn’t mind sharing his bed.

This continued for several months, until one weekend. Our oldest had gone away for two weeks with his school on a camping trip and my husband had come down with the flu. This meant my youngest couldn’t share the bed with us — I was sleeping on the couch — and thus, he started to panic.

Our big, “mean” guard dog, a Rottweiler named Commander, walked over to my son and gently started to lick at his hands. My son became distracted, petting the dog. Commander was an absolute softy, even if he didn’t look like it. He would rather lick you to death than bite you, and he was always surprising us in different ways.

After he had calmed down, my son asked if Commander could come to his room with him. I told him that I would make the exception that if he felt safe with the dog, I would allow it. My son hurriedly ran to his room, calling for the dog to follow. Commander knew that he wasn’t allowed in my son’s rooms and was hesitant to follow, but did anyway.

When I went to check on them a few hours later, my son was asleep in his bed, Commander laying next to him under the blankets and keeping a close watch on him. When I jokingly asked if everything was all right, Commander even gave that small “hruf” he would when he was content.

Commander was with my son day and night until Thunder, my son’s PTSD service dog, arrived. And even then, Commander was never too far from my son’s side until the day he passed over the rainbow bridge.

Of course, we had him cremated and turned into a small pendant that my son wears every day, so Commander could still be with him wherever he goes.

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