Today we had another tragedy in Las Vegas. And we were there. We had just started our two hour visit in UNLV Lied Library the week before exams, as we always do. We had five therapy teams. All of a sudden we were told there was a shelter in place lockdown. There was an active shooter on campus. I want to commend our handlers and dogs for remaining calm. And the library staff was exceptional. We had hundreds of students in the room with us and there could not have been a better time to have the dogs there. Everyone remained quiet and calm and we just waited. And waited. And waited. For quite a long time we could not do anything but hug a dog or five. The students were all on their phones as we learned what was going on. We did not take many photos once we were in the midst of the lockdown but here are a few – students on their phones and a few dogs helping ease the anxiety we all felt. After several hours we were told they started evacuating buildings and were one of the last to be cleared. Las Vegas Metro / Swat teams came into the library and everyone gathered in the lobby. There must have been thousands of people waiting to be told what to do. The dogs were awesome. Not a peep out of them and even the police were impressed. When we were finally in the group to be evacuated, we were told we could not get our cars. They closed off all the streets of course and we had to leave our cars there overnight. So we got on a bus with others and were transported to the Reunification Center at the Las Vegas Convention Center. I don’t think the dogs ever rode on a bus but they were superb. Most of the people on our bus were in the room with us and grateful they had the therapy dog with them now too. From there we had to figure out how to get home and then we will return in the morning for our cars.
I want to thank our Pet Partners teams Gabby and Xoco, Jim and Dude, Laurie and Cash, Kristie and Beatrice, Charlie and Shawn for remaining so steady under such enormous pressure. We could feel we were in the wrong place today but I think we were in exactly the right place, able to comfort everyone going through this horrific experience.