A black lab named Lila is on a new breed of “Paw Patrol” in the US Capitol. Lila was trained as a guide dog in California, but her predilection for hunting squirrels made her better suited to brightening people’s days.
The 3-year-old dog was very busy after the January 6 uprising. More than 150 Capitol Police Officers and DC Metropolitan Police Departmentsduring the violent attack. Since then, more than 70 officers have left Capitol Police and four officers who have responded to the attack by apparent suicide.
Capitol Police Officers Jeff Albanese and Caroline Edwards were both at work on the day of the riot. Edwards, who was overrun by rioters, suffered a traumatic brain injury.
“I just remember thinking, my God, this is a war zone,” Edwards said.
A black lab named Lila is on a new breed of
Both officers joined the department’s new peer support program to help them heal their wounds. Sometimes all they need while supporting their co-workers is Lila, who patrols the Capitol every day, to keep the spirits up. Lila also shows up at events when necessary – she was on roll call for officersDate of birth.
“Any problems you have, even if it’s only for a few seconds, go away,” said Albanese.
Edwards described Lila’s support as “a feeling of comfort, freedom from not having to talk about anything”.
Lila’s dog handler Dimitri Louis said that everyone smiles when the dog enters a room.
“Everyone loves a dog. So the dog allows us to start conversations,” said Louis.
If you or someone you know is experiencing emotional distress or a suicidal crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
For more information on mental health care resources and support, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) HelpLine is available Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or can be reached by email at info @. nami.org.
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