Leave it to a dog show to start making us cry – but not for the reason you think. (It’s not just because they are all so damn cute. Although they are.)

The AKC Eukanuba 2012 show aired today on ABC and they gave a special shout-out to a Parti-Pomeranian dog named Miki who is the A.I.R. Awareness Dog. Who is Miki and what does he do?

Miki’s mission: to help young people feel comfortable about mental illness so they can start talking openly. No one should ever be embarrassed or afraid to seek treatment.

A.I.R. stands for “Attitudes In Reverse” and it is an organization that brings awareness to suicide prevention for students. They say on their site, “Mental Illness is like A.I.R. Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean is doesn’t exist. It’s all around us.” Miki the dog attends A.I.R. awareness events and “starts many conversations regarding mental health and suicide prevention.”

Therapy dogs are great to help those with mental or physical issues, but having an organization that utilizes the healing power of animals in helping young students understand that mental illness can be dealt with and doesn’t make them any less than anyone else? That’s the kind of thing that makes you feel good about the world again.

Find Miki on Facebook. (Image credit goes to this page, used for this story.) More simply adorable pictures of Miki on Flickr.

P.S. CC: Cuteoverload (We’d love to see Miki featured!)



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