Letters to the Editor

The great gift of our dogs | Letters

Service dogs help keep veteran with PTSD calm

Army and National Guard veteran Richard Parker of Pascagoula introduces his dogs, one a certified service animal and the other one ‘in training.’ Both help the veteran cope with the PTSD three combat tours have left him with.
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Army and National Guard veteran Richard Parker of Pascagoula introduces his dogs, one a certified service animal and the other one ‘in training.’ Both help the veteran cope with the PTSD three combat tours have left him with.

I was happy to see that Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students in Parkland, Florida, honored their therapy dogs in their yearbook. Well deserved.

I can’t sing the praises of dogs enough. The only other animal that is close to my heart is young goats. They are the most playful, fun-loving, funny animal. I know because I grew up with them.

Unfortunately, you can’t take them to bed with you. That’s what I did with my miniature dachshund, Maggie, when I lost my wife in 2014. It’s impossible to know how much comfort there is in having a warm little dog with you when you’re sleeping. That was until this past Valentine’s Day, when I had to face reality. I knew it was time for Maggie to go, after 15 years. She was not enjoying life any more and because of that, neither was I.

That was the second time I had to do that unpleasant job, but it does not get any easier. People who have gone through the experience know how I felt. You lose a part of you that you can never get back.

Dogs require so little from us, compared to what they give us in return. Some food, water, a little exercise and a place to sleep is all they need and we have a faithful friend forever. Whoever said dogs are man’s best friend was right on the money. I will never have another dog because I’m too old to give them the care they would need to live a good life, but I can still love them forever.

Wallace Slate

Okatie

‘Psychology Today’: Why his base stands by Trump

How can so many Americans continue to support a despicable narcissist like President Donald Trump, even as he is doing everything he can to undermine the legislative branch of government by refusing to conform to its constitutional duty to provide checks and balances?

I have found articles that say Trump’s base is about 25% to 33% of the population, but according to Real Clear Politics and 538 websites, his job approval rating has never been below 37% and has actually moved up to well over 40% since the Mueller report was released to the Attorney General.

Psychologist Thomas Pettigrew (Journal of Social and Political Psychology) found five major social-psychological factors that help to account for Trump’s unwavering support by his “base”: Authoritarianism – strict obedience to authority, without concern for the opinions or needs of others; Social Dominance Orientation – belief in a societal hierarchy of groups with high status groups dominating low status ones; Prejudice – against ethnic and religious minorities; Relative Deprivation – the feeling of being deprived of something to which you feel entitled (like jobs lost to automation, Mexico, and China); and Intergroup Contact – the less contact one has with others in groups outside their own, the more prejudice they are likely to have toward them.

I suggest a brief article in “Psychology Today” (Dec. 31, 2017) in which Dr. Bobby Azarian summarizes Pettigrew’s findings. It helps to explain why many in Trump’s base have stuck with him in spite of his many assaults on common decency.

Frank Flaumenhaft

Hilton Head Island

Battery Creek showcases best of mankind

I experienced a real morale-booster this past Friday evening. Battery Creek High School’s world languages department hosted a festival celebrating cultural diversity.

Artwork and food from China, Latino and francophone countries were put on display for all to enjoy before the show. The performances included skits, songs and traditional and current dances.

How inspiring it was to see all of these young people enjoying each other and sharing what they had to offer. How much better it is to be building bridges instead of barriers. Hats off to Eledora Guerra, the department chair, as well as the other members of this department, family, faculty and support staff of Battery Creek for showcasing the better side of who we should aspire to be.

Joel B. Mallet

Beaufort

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