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Jennifer Arnold recently was featured in a PBS documentary titled, “Though the Eyes of a Dog.” It chronicles her organization, which is involved in the training of service dogs and matching them with people in need. USA Today also told her story.

The service dogs help people with certain disabilities to do routine daily tasks, but they also provide something else. Arnold noticed how the dogs and humans bonded, often giving hope.

Arnold talks about a young child who told his mother that he didn’t want to live any more. Sometime during the camp that orients and matches dog to human, Arnold noticed the child’s mother crying. She thought they had failed. It was the opposite. The mother had asked the child if he still wanted to leave and go to heaven, he said, “I can’t leave my dog.”

While we know there is going to be great glory in heaven, our hearts still go out to those who have no joy or hope on earth. What had the child found that brought the hope? Was it the sense of responsibility and purpose? Was it the unconditional love of the dog? I guess we would have to ask the child. Either way, it was the hope that made this life worth living.

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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