Ukrainian veterinarian helps children traumatized by war

Irina Bezuglaia is a young 32-year-old veterinarian. Thanks to her dogs, she helps the children to better cope with these very difficult times.

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This is the case with the one set up by Irina Bezuglaia, a 32-year-old veterinarian. The young woman left her city of Kharkiv in the east of the country, to take refuge in Dnipro in the south. Her knowledge of dogs allows her to help children.

Animals that change their behavior

At the start of the war, Irina Bezuglaia tries to stay at home, in her building in Kharkiv. But the bombardments will quickly make her change her mind. She takes her three dogs with her and decides to settle in Poltava, a town 150 km further west. She quickly realizes that animals also change their behavior.By dint of staying locked up with their master in cellars or shelters, they become more aggressive, or conversely, much more withdrawn.

Cohabitation with children

In a refugee center, the veterinarian finds herself with other people who, like her, have fled the war. She notices that the children are left alone and panicking at every siren sound. The young thirty-year-old decides to join another refugee camp in Kremenchuk. And the conclusion is the same: the children are left to fend for themselves and, in the face of this situation, the parents are powerless. Irina wants to take action and offers parents to help children by using her experience with traumatized animals.

A work of reconstruction

As she does with dogs, the veterinarian wants to help children get out of this feeling of loneliness. She will therefore encourage them to make paper objects. Seeing that it works rather well, she then offers them to draw.Irina asks the children to represent a place where they feel safe. Some draw a bunker, others their old house, still others a cellar.

Dogs as therapy

Faced with a little boy who remains silent, Irina decides to send one of her dogs, a Labrador named Lata. An hour later, the child started to play with the animal and started talking again. The dog had managed to create a connection with the child. This was not the case for adults. The results are therefore very conclusive and show that body language sometimes works better.

Keep helping owners

The young woman is a specialist in animals and in particular dogs. Educator, she has already written six books on them. In her Sunny Dog center, she gave advice to future owners to guide them in choosing their next pet. She was also there to guide the masters in training their new four-legged friend.

But with the he alth crisis, Irina had to review her way of working. Indeed, she and her partner Yulia continued their veterinary activity thanks to Zoom, a tool for communicating remotely. Since the start of the war, she has continued to use Zoom to help owners who find themselves with pets that are going crazy and overwhelmed with bomb stress.

In the refugee center, Irina tries to take care of the dogs to get them used to the sound of bombardments or sirens. By dint of repeating exercises, the dog ends up understanding that these noises are normal and that there is no danger. The young woman also explains to the owners that it is now necessary to think about the future. She therefore asks them to stop scolding them and above all, to stop using a leash that strangles their animal's neck.

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