Early 2020, around the same time we were all asked to isolate and quarantine, Christine Hassing completed the final pages of the manuscript for the now published book, Hope Has A Cold Nose. In many of the ways we have all felt alone, isolated, and unable to connect with others on a personal level during the Covid pandemic, many of our veterans have felt similarly for a much longer time.
The book, Hope Has A Cold Nose, is Christine Hassing’s contribution to help share the stories that veterans experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have felt since their return home and the stressors associated with returning to civilian life. Hope Has A Cold Nose chronicles the lives of 23 veterans whose lives were impaired by PTSD then drastically improved with the introduction of a professionally trained service dog.
PTSD or as Christine refers to it, “pain, trauma, sorrow, and despair.” All of us can relate to at least one of these feelings. With an alarming number of veterans taking their own lives every day, the more we are able to share stories of pain, trauma, sorrow, and despair, the more others feeling isolated and alone can hopefully reach out and get the help they need. Not every story in this book will relate to everyone, but if someone in need is able to form a connection with just one story, that can be powerful enough to help invoke the courage to make positive changes.
The book is a collection of stories from veterans chronicling their lives before and after receiving a professionally trained service dog. Many of the veteran teams profiled in Hope Has A Cold Nose are individuals that received their professionally trained service dog from Northwest Battle Buddies! The names should be recognizable and if you are a veteran recipient and wish to share your story, make sure to contact Christine!
As humans, we typically form the strongest connections with others we are able to relate to. When we meet others capable of sharing in an experience similar to one we have experienced, that forms the groundwork for a true and solid connection. If we are attempting to help another individual heal from trauma or anxiety, it is helpful to provide the individual in recovery with access to resources and others to help let that person feel they are not alone, providing a means for one to relate and feel validated. The book is an effort to share the words and feelings of those who have suffered in hopes of generating a place of commonality for others still suffering to relate to.
When Christine first embarked on the mission of compiling stories of veterans whose lives were drastically improved with the addition of a service dog, her original target audience was helping to better the lives of military veterans still suffering. As Hope Has A Cold Nose neared its publication release date of Veteran’s Day (Nov 11, 2020), the target audience potential expanded. The outbreak of the Covid-19 virus brought a commonality in feelings of isolation and anxiousness in crowds of people.
The underlying goal of this book now helps to serve anyone and everyone who has felt trapped, isolated, and living a life alone trying to navigate a personal problem which maybe they think “nobody else could possibly understand.” The hope is this book will provide solace to those seeking stories they can relate to, inspire hope in persons feeling trapped and alone, and also bring joy to readers wishing to learn more about stories of hope and the positive redirection of life.
As Christine shared, the book provides a safe place for someone struggling. Someone can read a sentence in another’s story and think Exactly, me too! Someone understands, without having to share a word out loud with anyone. In these pages someone finds non-judment and connectedness with their own story. Many recipients of Northwest Battle Buddies dogs feel as though they are able to tell their dogs things they would otherwise feel uncomfortable sharing with others.
Hope Has A Cold Nose was not written with the intent of being a single edition. It is Christine’s intention to add more stories of hope and inspiration over the coming years. If you know of someone with a relatable story they would be willing to share, get in touch with the author! If you are a veteran with a professionally trained service dog and would like your story to be a part of this collection of stories, reach out to Christine! If you have not read this book yet, buy a copy today! Proceeds from the sale of Hope Has A Cold Nose go to Northwest Battle Buddies!