Lucia Rojas, a psychology intern from the University of San Carlos, brought a special friend to work a few weeks ago. Her friend’s name is Hope, but everyone calls her Hopey, and she is a one-year, eight-month-old golden retriever.
Lucia wanted to bring Hopey to Common Hope to work with some of our children’s groups. The children in the groups struggle in school and attend the groups for extra emotional and social support.
Lucia feels that children can sometimes relate better to animals than adults or even other children. Sometimes they can identify with a dog right away, she says, trusting it more quickly than they would new people.
Hopey has been through training and has grown up around Lucia’s niece, so she is calm around kids. Still, she was shy at first with all the new faces. The students could relate to this. They talked to her about her shyness and gave her suggestions on how she could open up.
As child introduced themselves to Hopey, they quickly bonded with her, as Lucia suspected. They wanted to pet her, talk to her, walk her, and have their picture taken with her. They drew pictures for her, and they gave her suggestions for how to be better behaved, since Hopey sometimes has a hard time paying attention.
All in all, it was a very memorable day for the children’s group, and probably for Hopey too. Thanks so much for your service, Lucia, and for sharing Hopey with us.