Friends for Life

Initially idly, and then increasingly avidly watching Crufts last night, I was delighted to see a whippet from Scotland win the Best Hound group.

Of course she’s not a patch on our handsome hound (who another whippet owner kindly described a few weeks back as having ‘Supermodel looks’) but hey.

Still the most wonderful part of last night’s viewing wasn’t the pedigrees or the agility – or even the fabulous ‘Warrington Wizards’ in the ‘Flyball’…

It was the wonderful Assistance Dogs helping people with dementia:

And with disability:

There are committed people running amazing projects like Dogs for Good’s heart-warming Dementia Dog Project which has Scottish prisoners training dogs to help people with Alzheimer’s.

I was chatting to a friend on the street (returning muddily from this morning’s walk with a very mucky pup) and we talked happily about the joy of dogs.

And on reflection of course, I wouldn’t even have been there if we didn’t have a hound.

For all the mud, mess, commitment, time, food, poop and getting rained on; dogs make life better – and for some people they quite simply make their lives worth living.

I’m glad we have a dog again.

Relevant Complexity 6) Superhumans

ImageThe most moving thing I’ve seen in a long time is the Channel 4 ‘superhumans’ clip to preview the London 2012 Paralympics. Just watch it.

The music, the muscles, the missing limbs and pieces of bodies, the bomb, the womb, the car smash, the slap of the basket long shot. It’s stunning.

But the bit that chokes me up, is the lad in GB shirt number 5101 in the middle. He looks at you like he’s maybe not sure if you’re going to laugh at him, but the almost imperceptible smile suggests he’s starting to believe that after this Paralympics you never will again.

I’m proud of Channel 4 and the UK for taking the ‘dis’ out of disability. There are millions of people round the world who – like those in the video – have to be ‘superhuman’ in their daily lives. All with different stories and obstacles they overcome and some they can’t.

What a way to remind us there’s amazing relevant complexity in people – which we often demean as disability – that too often we, society, employers, even governments choose to look away from and ignore – instead of recognising it as superhuman.