A photo shoot for Natalie Allouche and her Brothers In Arms work. From Natalie's website:

bia-aat.org/

BROTHERS IN ARMS (BIA) IS A GRASS ROOTS ORGANIZATION LOCATED IN NORTHEAST LOUISIANA. THE IDEA OF HAVING AN ANIMAL ASSISTED THERAPY GROUP CAME ABOUT AS A DEDICATION, A WAY TO HONOR THE LIVES OF NATALIE AND EREZ'S TWO OLDEST SONS; ADAR Z"l AND YONADAV (YOYO) Z"L WHO PASSED AWAY AT THE TENDER AGES OF TEN AND EIGHT RESPECTFULLY. THEY WERE INCREDIBLE BOYS, WITH A LOVE OF LIFE, SUPER HUMAN STRENGTH, A DEEP CONCERN FOR THEIR SIBLINGS, OTHERS AND ANIMAL FRIENDS AND A SENSE OF DEEPER KNOWLEDGE. NATALIE WANTED TO CARRY ON FOR THEM, THEIR LEGACY, TO SPREAD THEIR MESSAGE THAT:

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE
LIFE IS WORTH EVERY MOMENT
ALL CHILDREN DESERVE HAPPINESS, NO MATTER WHAT THEY ARE GOING THROUGH

ED ( NATALIE'S FAWN MALE MASTIFF) AND NATALIE COMPLETED EXTENSIVE TRAINING FROM THE DELTA SOCIETY, WHICH HAS BEEN INVOLVED IN EDUCATING THE PUBLIC ON THE "HUMAN ANIMAL CONNECTION" AND REGISTERING PET PARTNER TEAMS FOR OVER HALF A CENTURY. ED PASSED HIS EXTENSIVE EVALUATION FIRST TIME AROUND, BEING THE YOUNGEST MASTIFF IN THE SOUTH TO RECEIVE HIS REGISTRATION AT 12 MONTHS OF AGE! ED SOON STARTED WORKING WITH NATALIE IN THE SCHOOL SYSTEM WITH HIGH RISK YOUTH AND CRISIS RIDDEN CHILDREN IN THE COMMUNITY.

MANY DOGS, PUREBRED AND MIXED, ARE WELL SUITED FOR HELPING OUT INDIVIDUALS, BUT SOMETHING ABOUT ED'S SIZE AND EASY GOING DEMEANOR ( ALONG WITH HIS BOMB PROOF TEMPERAMENT) WAS MAKING AN IMPACT EVERYWHERE HE WENT. AT THE SAME TIME, NATALIE COULD NOT FIND ANY FORM OF GROUP THERAPY FOR HER FOUR SURVIVING CHILDREN. DUE TO THEIR AGE RANGE, THEY DID NOT "QUALIFY" FOR CONVENTIONAL GROUP THERAPY. IT WAS THEN THAT NATALIE REALIZED THAT THE "THERAPY" WAS HAPPENING IN HER OWN HOME, WITH EACH DOG THAT THE CHILDREN HAD. SOME OF HER CHILDREN WOULD HOLD THEIR DOGS AND CRY, WHISPER INTO THEIR EARS THE FEARS THEY HAD, AND THE PAIN. THE DOGS, SLEPT WITH THEM ON THEIR BEDS.

NATALIE STARTED TO NOTICE A CHANGE IN THE BEHAVIOR OF HER CHILDREN AND ALONG WITH TRADITIONAL, INDIVIDUAL COUNSELING, THEY SLOWLY STARTED TO READJUST THEIR LIVES AND BUILD SELF CONFIDENCE AGAIN.

AFTER CARING FOR HER TWO SONS WHO PASSED FROM CANCER 7 YEARS APART, NATALIE DECIDED SHE WAS "DONE" WITH BEING A REGISTERED NURSE IN THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM. AFTER 15 YEARS OF BEING A CERTIFIED ONCOLOGY NURSE (IN CANADA), RN HOSPICE CASE MANAGER, RN SUPERVISOR IN LONG TERM CARE AND DIRECTOR OF NURSING, NATALIE
DECIDED TO TRY AND TURN HER IMMENSE GRIEF AND AGONY INTO ENERGY, TOWARDS HER CERTIFICATION IN HUMANE EDUCATION AND TAKING THE DELTA SOCIETY WORKSHOP, ALONG WITH PASSING THE EVALUATION AND REGISTERING ED AND EGAN, HER YOUNGEST SON'S CATTLE DOG, AS THERAPY DOGS.

PART OF NATALIE'S MISSION NOW, IS TO USE HER DOGS TO WORK WITH HER DURING HUMANE EDUCATION LESSONS TO GRADE SCHOOL STUDENTS, WHICH BUILD ON CHARACTER EDUCATION IN THE SCHOOL REINFORCING : EMPATHY, KINDNESS AND RESPECT TOWARDS ANIMALS AND THE ENVIRONMENT; THE IDEA BEING THAT THIS IS THE FIRST STEP IN CROSSING OVER THESE HUMANE VALUES TOWARDS PEOPLE IN OUR SOCIETY. THIS WORK IS ALSO DEDICATED TO HER FOUR SURVIVING CHILDREN, MORIAH, SHLOMO, ADRIEL AND NAVIT, WHO HAVE RIDDEN THE STORM WITH THEIR BROTHERS AND NEVER STOPPED LOVING AND BEING THERE FOR EACH OTHER.

"THE LAST OF HUMAN FREEDOMS IS THE ABILITY TO CHOOSE ONE'S ATTITUDE IN A GIVEN SET OF CIRCUMSTANCES."
VIKTOR FRANKEL, PSYCHIATRIST, AUTHOR SURVIVOR OF AUSCHWITZ CONCENTRATION CAMP.

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