Karen B. London
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Kevin Ware’s New Dog
“Scar” will help him heal

Louisville basketball player Kevin Ware adopted a dog to help him as he heals. The dog, who is named Scar, will be his constant companion during his long recovery. Sometimes I worry when I meet a dog named Scar that it refers to a fighting history or a desire to scare others, but in this case, the name Scar is a reminder of the work ahead of Ware and the scar that his leg will have.

When Kevin Ware went down with a horrific injury last Sunday in the NCAA basketball tournament, the world reached out to comfort him. He has been fielding calls and messages from the likes of LeBron James, Lil Wayne, Matt Lauer, Kobe Bryant and Joe Theisman, not to mention coaches, players, and others throughout the NCAA. His teammates have also showed how much they care from the moment of the injury and every day since. All the support means a lot to Ware, and being a class act, he has acknowledged all of it repeatedly with tremendous gratitude.

Perhaps this simply reflects my own dog lover’s perspective, but it’s hard to imagine anything helping him more during the rough months ahead than the good company of Scar. The college sophomore will not be playing basketball for the better part of a year, and he will be able to spend a lot of that extra time with his new dog. Other family members will need to help with his daily care at first since Ware’s mobility is limited in these post-surgery days. Hopefully Scar will benefit, as many dogs do, from being an important part of his guardian’s life and spending heaps of time together.

How has your dog helped you through a health crisis?


Karen B. London, PhD, is a Bark columnist and a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of serious behavior problems in the domestic dog.

Photo by austin_murphy23/Instagram

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Submitted by Momma Suzzi | April 5 2013 |

I have had a loving companion Lucy (Border collie mix, adopted from the pound in 2003) she has been a constant companion of my families. Our relationship was taken to a whole other level of protection and security in 2005. Lucy was in our home when my son and his girlfriend died tragically. when I returned home , and was able to retrieve my beloved pets they were constantly at my side. Throughout the coming years as I navigated enormous grief, my companion Lucy has been by my side, walking with me, nuzzling my hand when she knew I was suffering emotionally, giving me kisses and clearing the tears from my tear streaked face. She is a faithful copilot and companion. She Loves me and we navigated a messy grieving process together. She too had lost her loved ones.

Submitted by Anonymous | April 5 2013 |

my husband passed away 9 years ago in his sleep, he was only 47, if I hadnt had my 2 chihuahua's I would have been in a very bad place in my life. I love my babies like they were my own

Submitted by Anonymous | April 5 2013 |

I think this is great. A pet always helps one to feel better. My concern is what is going to happen to Scar, when Kevin get's back on his feet and starts to play basketball again? Is the dog going to be forgotten about, have no time for, or what? I pray that that does not happen.

Submitted by Tanice | April 5 2013 |

I injured myself in a ATV accident, and was down for months. My dog helped me keep my sanity!

Submitted by Paula Walker | April 5 2013 |

Good for you Kevin! Hope this animal helps you heal - I think you will be surprised how much it will help! Speedy Recovery!

Submitted by Ellie | April 5 2013 |

What kind of a dog? Who else is in the home to care for the dog? All the best to them both.

Submitted by Anonymous | April 5 2013 |

My dogs have helped me thru many crisis' some health, some when I moved to a new location by myself for the first time and others when I was just stressed out. Of course my dogs have caused alot of my crisis' too lol. I love them more than life itself and wouldn't have it any other way!!!

Submitted by Anonymous | April 5 2013 |

When I was down and out with panic attacks and depression, my dog was always there for me, kissing my tears and lying with her head in my lap. I'd have been lost without her. Dogs are simply the best.

Submitted by renee | April 5 2013 |

welcome to the dog loving family. the puppy will help you. i hope you heal and go back to your sport.

Submitted by joan hart | April 5 2013 |

You have picked the best companion ever, not only through your healing process but forever. When I broke my neck in a car accident my Jack Russell Ivan knew to come to me on the couch and say okay I know you need to heal but perhaps you could take me for a walk in the park and get fresh air and you will heal much quicker. He was right it was the best thing. I fell into a deep depression as the injury changed my whole life and he made me realize that I could not stay in such a dark place wallowing in my own misery.
Ivan is gone now but I work with a Rescue No Kill Shelter now and help anyway I can to help rescue dogs. I have three myself and have raised lots of money to help save countless others.
Good Luck Kevin on your journey to heal. So glad you will have Scar with you along the way.

Submitted by Jackie | April 5 2013 |

I have severe anxiety that leads to seizures. My dog, Jenna, the was rescued from a puppy mill can tell when my anxiety is at it's worst and calm me down. One thing she does is lick my hands and arms to get the blood to return to them, like she would a puppy. Sometimes she knows I'm at the point of seizing before I do. I am so glad I have her to comfort me.

Submitted by J Newfeld | April 5 2013 |

Prayers for a speedy recovery, and YES, a resounding YES, animals can help a person heal faster. Thank you for adopting Scar. I know you will become good friends in your recovery of injury and afterwards.

Submitted by Anonymous | April 6 2013 |

I just had knee surgery; my 95lb, 9-year-old-greyhound/lab mix would not leave my side. When my son tried to take him for a walk, he broke the leash ands ran back to me. Over the 9 years Ive had Elvis he's helped me through many a hard time-I would say Kevin is lucky to have Scar by his side (although he looks like a puppy, so that sounds harder to me) get well kevin...

Submitted by Anne Ridderhoff | April 6 2013 |

Nothing will keep his spirits up like an dog will. Being away from basketball for a guy who's used to doing it everyday will be difficult but he will have his dog Scar to tell his feelings to. I have a cat and for the better part of her life I leaned on her to get me through the loss of my 25 year job, the illness of my husband and the illness and death of my mother. Believe me she has been my rock. And Scar will be Mr. Wares rock. Good for you Kevin Ware for giving this dog a loving home.

Submitted by Terry | April 6 2013 |

YEAH!!! I have been laid up since Nov 2012 with a broken ankle. I am just learning to walk. I have 2 beagles who have been a God send to me. I know if I did not have them here at home making my day better, the depression would have been a TON worse! They have been an inspiring part of my everyday of being housebound. I hope his dog gives him the same inspiration! That dog is lucky to have a buddy!

Submitted by Judy L | April 7 2013 |

oh yes . . . my dogs were my companions when I was home from work and going through cancer treatments. they are the BEST companions ever!!!

Submitted by Lil I. | April 9 2013 |

When I was going through chemo for ovarian cancer, the dog we had at the time (a Sheltie) stayed close to me all the time, especially when I would would home from a treatment. Animals seem to sense when you are not well. Right now my husband is not doing well and the Cavalier King CharlesSpaniel/Dachs mix (whom we adopted a few months ago), jumps up in his lap periodically as if to say, "I'm here if you need some loving".....

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