Caleb Howard was just 6 years old when a head-on car collision left him with broken bones and a traumatic brain injury. His heartbroken parents weren’t sure how quickly he’d be able to recover — or if he’d make it at all — as much of Caleb’s progress was nearly impossible to recognize.
One day, it was suggested that a dog named Colonel step in and act as Caleb’s therapy animal. His parents were desperate for a solution, so they obliged. The video below follows Caleb and Colonel’s journey together. You’ll see an immediate boost in Caleb’s awareness, and how this relationship marked a turning point for Caleb’s family in their belief in his ability to recover.
Caleb learned to gain control over his hands again by playing fetch with and petting Kernel. He gained mobility by taking the dog for short walks and being more active than he had been in a very long time.
Colonel the therapy dog also helped Caleb find excitement and joy again. Who would have thought this very special dog would hold the key to Caleb’s recovery? Before his parents and the doctors knew it, Caleb made strides in leaps and bounds, helping to prove the power of therapy animals.
Though this video was posted to YouTube in 2009, it’s just as powerful as ever. Dogs truly do have healing properties!
Watch the emotional and heartwarming video below