Meet Midnight, Facility Therapy Dog
Meet Midnight, the facility therapy dog bringing smiles to military personnel and their families at the 140th Wing of the Colorado Air National Guard.
As the Director of Psychological Health Services for the 140th Wing of the Colorado Air National Guard in Aurora, Colorado, Virginia Howard helps members and their families overcome struggles with anxiety, depression, suicide, and PTSD. She is the only mental health provider and suicide prevention manager for 1,500 service members and their families. “We all have struggles and some things are out of our control,” says Virginia. “My job is to transform negative states to optimize positive states and stay on top of stress.”
It’s a tall order, but thankfully, Virginia has a helping paw from facility therapy dog, Midnight. “Midnight is so sweet,” Virginia says. “She is very engaging and loves people. She’s far-reaching in helping my ability to connect with people, so it’s a win-win.”
With her ability to stay calm, Midnight is doing an outstanding job as the base’s first therapy dog. She’s part of an alternative wellness program Virginia developed to supplement talk therapy. When Virginia does see clients in her office, Midnight is there. “Midnight has the talent and skill to sit patiently in uncomfortable situations,” explains Virginia. “If a client wants to engage, she’s very responsive. If they don’t, she’ll sit in her bed, observing.”
Midnight has adjusted well to the mile-high climate. In her off-time, she enjoys belly scratches, hiking in the mountains, and playing with her toy hedgehog, Baby.
Midnight starred in our first episode of Dogs of Destiny. To watch the entire episode, visit www.Guidedogs.org/dogsofdestiny