In time for Valentine’s Day we bring you a story of doggie love, direct from Washington, D.C. where thousands of National Guard troops will continue to be stationed away from their homes for at least another month.
More than 250 Guardsmen have been staying downtown at the Hamilton Hotel in the nation’s capital since troops were called in from around the country to protect the city after a siege on the Capitol Building one month ago.
Knowing the men and women had been away from their own families and pets for several weeks, the hotel surprised their guests with a visit from a dozen therapy dogs affiliated with the DC nonprofit People Animals Love.
The happy commotion in the lobby two weeks ago, shown in the video below, was designed as a gesture of thanks for the group’s round-the-clock service to their country.
The 12 dogs were accompanied by their owners who stood at various spots throughout the hotel located at 14th and K Streets—and all the pups were eager to extend a two-paw salute to our armed services members.
“Seeing hardened military men and women, roll around on the ground with these amazing dogs, as if no one is watching, truly filled our souls with happiness and gratitude,” Hamilton Hotel director Joe Palminteri told GNN. “It was only an hour, but the smiles and warm embraces will last a lifetime.”
People Animals Love was founded in 1982 to proved a network of 500 individually-owned dogs and a few cats to provide comfort to people in places like care facilities, libraries, and schools. During the pandemic, the group began offering a virtual program where kids can practice reading to a PAL dog.