Service Dogs For Those That Have Served
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Puppies Are Wonderful Sidekicks Training and Behavior Modification

Service Dogs For Those That Have Served

While wasting a little time on Facebook this afternoon I came across a story about a high school teacher in 2005 that removed the all the desks in her class room. As her first class came in, she asked the students to tell her how they earned the right to sit at a desk. The students throughout the day were stumped. They came up with several ideas ranging from grades to behavior, but none of them were able to come up with the correct reason. As the last class came in, and sat on the floor, she walked over to the door, opened it, and twenty-seven U.S. Veterans, all in uniforms, walked into the classroom, all carrying desks. Martha Cothern, a social studies teacher at Robinson High School in Little Rock, then said to her students, "You didn't earn the right to sit at these desks. These hero’s did it for you. They placed the desks here for you. Now, it's up to you to sit in them. It is your responsibility to learn, to be good students, to be good citizens. They paid the price so that you could have the freedom to get an education. Don't ever forget it."  This story moves me every time I read it. It makes me question if I appreciate what has been given to me.
For many of these service officers the war doesn't stop when they come home. They suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I could goon and on with stats about PTSD, but we're all familiar enough with it to know that it has a large variety of symptoms ranging from anxiety and irrational fears, to anti-social behavior and poor self esteem. PTSD is rarely cured. Organizations like Train a Dog Save a Warrior are on a mission to help with the treatment of these symptoms. They find many of their dogs from shelters. The dog pictured above, Gunny, was scheduled to be euthanized when TADSAW rescued him and entered him into their program. Simple words cannot describe what these dogs have been able to do for these veterans. They're giving each other a second chance at a happy life. Please take some time, and read this article about TADSAW. I hope it moves you as much as it moved me.
From the website"Physical,behavioral, and/or emotional symptoms can be helped tremendously by the presence of a well trained Penny's From Heaven Foundation PTSD Working Support Dog. Anxiety, panic, fear, irritability, depression, withdrawal, isolation,hyper-vigilance, loss of trust, nightmares, reoccurring flashbacks, phobias of crowds, phones, e-mail, stores, buildings, vehicles, unfamiliar people,insomnia, fatigue, pounding heart, migraines, difficulty concentrating,paranoia, sleepwalking, suicidal thoughts, anti social behavior, suspicion,poor self esteem are but some of the symptoms where a Penny's From Heaven Foundation PTSD Working Support Dog has proved useful."

2 Comments to Service Dogs For Those That Have Served:

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Alyssa on Saturday, October 01, 2011 9:55 PM
Awesome story! I think it's amazing to read about how dogs and humans can really save each other from a horrible fate. We depend on them just as much as they depend on us sometimes.
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Amber on Saturday, October 08, 2011 8:52 PM
Alyssa, thanks so much for your feedback! I've been so happy to see since posting this blog how many service dogs are being trained for this type of therapy work. I only wish I could find one here in MI that I could volunteer at to help with training.

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