Bringing out the paws for a good cause! Last month, 250 National Guard members were greeted by a dozen therapy dogs in their hotel lobby.
The troop has been bunking at the Hamilton Hotel in D.C. ever since the riots at the Capitol broke out, so to thank them for their service — and to help them feel less homesick — the nonprofit organization People Animals Love (PAL) brought out 12 of their member's pups for a sweet bonding session.
All of the canines were accompanied by their owners, and all social distancing and face mask mandates were followed.
"Seeing hardened military men and women, roll around on the ground with these amazing dogs, as if no one is watching, truly filled our souls with happiness and gratitude," shared Hamilton Hotel director Joe Palminteri. "It was only an hour, but the smiles and warm embraces will last a lifetime."
According to the nonprofit's website, they aim "to use the human-animal bond to comfort the lonely, ease the pain of the sick and enrich the world of children." Each year, the D.C.-based group makes over 2,000 visits to "hospitals, nursing homes, libraries, jails, schools and more."
The group also offers grief counseling sessions if you've lost a pet, and in light of the pandemic, they've launched a new program where for 30 minutes, kids can read books to two pooches through video calls.
"Six days a week, PAL dogs are listening to kids read on Zoom," the site reads. "This is a fun, low-stress way for kids to gain skills and confidence reading aloud."
If you're a cat or dog owner who's hoping to get in on the heartwarming action, don't hesitate to apply.
"No special skills or training are required of your animal," PAL promises. "Mostly, we're looking for friendly, gentle pets who are hungry for human attention. (Not just the attention of their own humans, but the attention of strangers.) And for friendly, gentle humans who have a nice way with animals and people and the time and desire to volunteer in their communities."