Showing posts with label service dogs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label service dogs. Show all posts

Friday, May 15, 2020

Nurse took care of blind Vietnam veteran...and service dog Cupid for 21 days~

Not just another patient: A nurse cared for a blind veteran and his guide dog while they were locked down in the hospital

By Lauren Lee
May 13, 2020
"Barbara stepped up and said, 'You don't worry about that. I will take care of that for you,'" Tasby recalled. For nearly three weeks, Borbeck walked, fed and cared for Cupid. She even enlisted other hospital staff to help out on her days off.
Nurse Barbara Borbeck cared for Cupid during Tasby's 21-day stay at Southern Hills Hospital.
Joe Tasby stands with his guide dog Cupid.

(CNN)Joe Tasby walked into the emergency room along with his faithful guide dog, Cupid. It was mid-March, and he thought he'd be home in a matter of days. But his hospital stay ended up lasting weeks. And when the coronavirus pandemic hit, no one could come into the hospital to care for Cupid.

Leave it to nurse -- and dog lover -- Barbara Borbeck to save the day.
read it here

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Disabled veteran fought for his service dog rights...and all others

‘Service animal’ signs going up at Hillsborough parks after veteran files suit

Tampa Bay Times
By Christopher O'Donnell
Published 4 hours ago

The county recently reached a settlement in the suit that requires posting “service animals are welcome” at all 200 or so of its parks. The county must also ensure that information about service animals is included in annual employee training about accommodations required for disabled people under federal and state law.
Cesar Silva and his 7-year-old service dog Sophia visit Rotary Riverfront Park in Temple Terrace on Tuesday. A disabled Iraq war veteran, Silva takes Sophia with him everywhere but ran into trouble with a park ranger during a 2016 visit to Veteran’s Memorial Park. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]
It started with a heated encounter between Cesar Silva, who has disabilities, and a park ranger. Silva helped bring about the same changes at city parks in 2013.

TAMPA — Sophia, a bright eyed 7-year-old German shepherd, is Cesar Silva’s constant companion.

A disabled Army veteran, Silva struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder and physical injuries that affect his balance. Sophia is trained to get help if he falls. She will gently nudge him and distract him when he’s overwhelmed.

Sophia was with Silva when he and partner Samantha Tapia visited Veteran’s Memorial Park and Museum on U.S. 301 in Tampa in May 2016. Their arrival caught the attention of park ranger Roger Cramer who questioned why Silva had parked in a disabled spot and why Sophia, wearing her service dog vest, was not on a leash.

Silva, 38, has a disability symbol on his license plate. He explained that he doesn’t always use a leash because his balance problems put him at risk of falling, an exemption allowed by state law.

That did not satisfy Cramer, according to Silva. As the discussion became heated, Cramer called the couple combative and refused their request for his name and title. Tapia said she felt afraid and called the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
read it here

Friday, May 24, 2019

Service dog killed by gator, owner committed suicide next day

Service dog mauled to death by gator outside Palmetto dog park

By: Victoria Price
May 24, 2019

PALMETTO, Fla. (WFLA) - PALMETTO, Fla. (WFLA) - Pet owners in Manatee County are sounding the alarm after a gator mauled and killed a man's service dog at Dog Leg Park at Buffalo Creek.

The attack happened Friday shortly before dusk. Sharil Dowling and other witnesses say the chocolate lab somehow got loose while outside the fence with its owner.

Next thing Dowling knew, the lifeless dog was slumped over a man's shoulders, covered in blood.

Dowling described the scene as horrifying but had previous feared such an attack was an accident waiting to happen.

"Most people, if they knew they were that close to marsh and gators, they wouldn't walk back there," she said. "I can't imagine the anguish that guy was in."

A line of trees just outside the dog park obscures wetlands, and both Dowling and other pet owners who frequent the dog park fear not enough people are aware of the dangers hidden away.

In the five years Tim Todd has come to Dog Leg Park, he knows of at least three dogs eaten by alligators. After Friday, he reached out to the county, demanding it put up warning signs.

"It was too late to do anything for that dog, but what could we do to help other people?" Todd asked.

Snake and gator warning signs were installed earlier this week.

News Channel 8 has learned the dog killed Friday, Java, was a service dog for Andrew Epp, a local man who suffered mental health issues. Epp was so distraught, according to family and friends, that he took his own life the very next day.
read more here

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Fake service dogs hurt everyone

Multiple issues in service dog industry for people with autism, PTSD

By ALLEN G. BREED - AP National Writer
May 04, 2019

"About a month after losing Bailey, Katie committed suicide. Her mother is convinced things would have been different had Bailey worked out. "My Katie would still be alive today if we had been given a trained service dog," Evans says."
APEX, N.C. (AP) -- All the counseling, therapy and medication did little to ease 9-year-old Sobie Cummings' crippling anxiety and feelings of isolation. And so a psychiatrist suggested that a service dog might help the autistic child connect with other kids.

To Glenn and Rachel Cummings, Mark Mathis seemed like a dream come true. His kennel, Ry-Con Service Dogs, was just a couple of hours away, and he, too, had a child with autism. But what clinched the decision were Mathis' credentials.

"Is Ry-Con a certified program? Yes," stated an online brochure. "In 2013, Mark was certified as a NC state approved service dog trainer with a specialty in autism service dogs for children."

Ten months and $14,500 later, the family brought home a shaggy mop of a dog that Sobie had come to view as her "savior." But when they opened the front door, Okami broke from Glenn Cummings' grasp and began mauling one of the family's elderly dogs — all as Sobie watched from the stairs in mute horror.

It was only after they had returned Okami and asked for a refund that the family learned the truth: Mathis was not a state-certified dog trainer. In fact, North Carolina has no such certification program — and neither does any other state.

The service dog industry — particularly in the field of "psychiatric" service dogs for people with autism and post-traumatic stress disorder — has exploded in recent years. But a near complete absence of regulation and oversight has left needy, desperate families vulnerable to incompetence and fraud.

"It is a lawless area. The Wild West," says David Favre, a law professor at Michigan State University and editor of its Animal Legal and Historical Center website.

Properly training a service dog can take up to 1 ½ years and cost upward of $50,000, depending on the tasks it is taught to perform. But the Americans with Disabilities Act does not require that a service dog be professionally trained or certified. And, according to the U.S. Department of Justice , local and state agencies are prohibited from requiring that the dogs be registered.

"It needs to be specially trained to do tasks that relate to the person's disability, but it doesn't say anything about who does the training or the quality of training or the efficacy of it," says Lynette Hart, a professor of veterinary medicine at the University of California, Davis. "So it's a very broad, wide-open barn door."
read more here

Friday, March 15, 2019

Veteran MP-Amputee...leans on three legged service puppy

Double Amputee Veteran Training 3-Legged Puppy to Be Therapy Dog for Schoolchildren

March 14, 2019

“Without her, I would have given up already. I got to places so low in my life that I didn’t want to go on but didn’t know what to do with her because she relies on me,” Gardner said. “I didn’t know how she’d handle it. Now, I’d never give up on her and I’m so afraid of the day I have to let her go. She’s given me my life back and a purpose helping others.”

Christy Gardner is paying it forward in the best way possible: with a puppy!

In 2006, Gardner, a U.S. Army Military Police Officer at the time, was injured during a peacekeeping mission. Due to complications from these injuries, Gardner had both of her legs amputated. This drastic change left Gardner in a low place, unable to live on her own and unsure on how to enjoy life.

Those feelings shifted when she met Moxie, a golden retriever service dog trained by Florida’s K9s for Warriors. Always an animal lover, Gardner was open to the idea of getting a service dog when her doctors suggested a canine companion.

She was place with Moxie in 2010. The effect the service dog had on her was immediate.

Now, both Gardner and Moxie have been working together to prepare Lucky for life as a three-legged therapy dog. Moxie has been doing her part to teach Lucky the essentials of good dog behavior.
read more here

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Help dying veteran find his service dog in Las Vegas

Las Vegas veteran's dying wish is to be reunited with missing service dog

FOX 5 Vegas
Cassandra Mlynarek
Mar 11, 2019

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) – A veteran’s dying wish is to reunite with 2-year-old service dog, Murphy. Murphy is a Belgian Malinois.

He disappeared Dec. 6 after his owner, 72-year-old Morris Collins, suffered a medical episode.
"I passed out on the floor and had bleeding from my mouth,” said Morris. “When they took me in the ambulance to the hospital on the 6 of December, Murphy chased after the ambulance. That’s how he got lost.”

Morris was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and given six months to live. He was devastated to learn Murphy was missing after narrowly dying himself.
Murphy’s home is in Centennial Hills near Ft. Apache Road and Gilcrease Avenue. He was spotted the day after the incident at Oso Blanca Road and Durango Drive near PT’s Pub.
read more here

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Disabled veteran's German Shepherd service dog brutalized by groomer

Florida groomer picks up tail of disabled veteran's service dog, spins it until it breaks: sheriff

The 8-year-old German Shepherd was so hurt that its tail had to be amputated.
Author: Andrew Krietz
February 25, 2019
"The video is so graphic that I will not post it on Facebook, but trust me when I tell you that it is one of the most difficult things I have ever had to watch in my 39 years of Law Enforcement because of the horrific and cruel way the pet was treated," Ivey wrote.

TT underwent emergency surgery to amputate its tail and is recovering. Its owner is devastated, the sheriff said.

SATELLITE BEACH, Fla. — A Florida sheriff says he has no problem taking your butt to jail if you hurt an animal in his county.

It's the least of what Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey wrote on Facebook while describing a horrific act of animal cruelty -- so much so that he said it's probably one of the worst cases in his 39 years of law enforcement.

A disabled veteran had his service dog, a German Shepherd named "TT," set for a grooming appointment. James Cordell Doughty Suthann was tasked to take care of the 8-year-old dog. Video tells the rest of the story, Ivey said: The contract employee got upset when the dog would not stand still. The sheriff wrote Suthann grabbed TT's head down "so tight that the dog could no longer move and was obviously in pain."

At one point, Ivey said he saw Suthann lift the dog up by its tail -- and off the ground, causing her to spin a complete 360 degrees. The tail became broken to the extent it could not be reattached.

Suthann wasn't done there, the sheriff said, as he took the nozzle used to bathe the dog and struck it in the back of the head.
read more here

Thursday, February 21, 2019

After hotel kicked out Vietnam veteran with service dog, he slept in his car?

UPDATE: Vietnam Veteran Kicked Out Of Bentonville Hotel Because Of Service Dog

5 News
FEBRUARY 15, 2019
Cornelius and Juliana then left the hotel to sleep in his car until the morning in the hospital parking lot where his wife was working that night. He and his wife were visiting from Tulsa, where they lived. He said he was stunned by what had happened to him.

Cornelius says he made his reservation on the phone. When he arrived, he checked in. After check-in, Cornelius went to get his bags and his dog and was confronted by the clerk, Cornelius said. He was told Juliana was not allowed in the hotel, even after he explained she was not a pet.

About half an hour later, hotel staff and police officers forced Cornelius to leave.

"I was shook up... I mean I have several service-connected disabilities and what Juliana is for is for hearing and but when I went back to the hospital parking lot, I was shaken," Cornelius said.

Attempts to reach hotel management were unsuccessful before this story was published. After this story was published, 5NEWS had many conversations with the hotel manager. Monday morning (Feb. 18), the manager of the hotel called 5NEWS again to complain about this story. When asked directly for a statement or an interview the manager declined, but then said on the record, "you are liars."

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, known as the ADA, a service animal is defined as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person's disability.
read more here

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Group takes care of pets when veterans have to go into the hospital

When veterans have to go to the hospital, this group steps in to foster their pets

The State
Published: February 14, 2019
”It was an unknown need in South Carolina,” Pawmetto Lifeline CEO Denise Wilkinson said. “The vets have no family and their pets are the only love they have in their lives. (With the new program), they take care of themselves and have no worries. When they get out of the hospital, we give them their pet back.”

The program is funded by the Michael J. Mungo Foundation, which will pay for the services on an as-needed basis. The foundation honors the late founder of Mungo Homes of Columbia.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (Tribune News Service) — Pawmetto Lifeline, an organization that advocates foster care for stray animals as an alternative to shelters, on Wednesday unveiled a new program to help military veterans and their pets.

The “Boots for Service” program provides foster care and medical care for pets of veterans who have to enter the hospital and have nowhere to put their furry (or feathery, perhaps) friends.

By partnering with the U.S. Veterans Administration, the privately funded Pawmetto Lifeline organization will support identified veterans who might put their pet’s needs above their own and not seek treatment.

”If they are in trouble . . . and they have a dog or a cat, and they have to go to the hospital, what are they going to do?” McMaster said. “That causes more trouble. So this is a great, great program. I don’t know how many other states are doing this. But we are.”
read more here

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

PETCO partners to Paws of War

Petco Foundation Invests in Paws of War’s Life-Changing Work Supporting Service Animals

Press Release

Paws of War of Nesconset, NY, announces it has been awarded a $15,000 grant investment from the Petco Foundation to support its new Vets to Vets Mobile Veterinary Clinic serving disabled veterans’ pets and service dogs.

Paws of War is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to train and place shelter dogs to serve and provide independence to our U.S. military veterans that suffer from the emotional effects of war serving the United States. Since 2014, Paws of War has supported over 120 Veterans with service dogs rescued from kill shelters.

This grant was made possible through the Petco Foundation’s annual Helping Heroes fundraising campaign, in partnership with Merrick Pet Care. Each October during the campaign, Petco customers are invited to donate online and in Petco stores across the country to support the life-changing work of service, therapy and working animals.

To date, the Petco Foundation has invested more than $12 million to support the transformative effect that therapy, service and working animals that have on people across the globe. The Petco Foundation investment will help Paws of War to continue their mission and will directly impact the lives of veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and/or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and helping rescued dogs get a second chance at life while providing services on their new “Vets to Vets” Moblie Veterinary Clinic.

“On behalf of Paws of War, I would like to personally thank The Petco Foundation for making our mission of ‘helping both ends of the leash’ possible. We could not offer this amazing free veterinary care to our disabled heroes without their support. We thank The Petco Foundation for being our first large provider of these important services” said Dori Scofield, co-founder of Paws of War.

For more information about Paws of War or the Petco Foundation, visit or Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or by using the hashtag #HelpingHeroes.

About Paws of War
At Paws of War our mission is to suitably match rescued dogs from shelters and pairing them with military veterans suffering from the emotional effects of war such as PTSD who seek the therapeutic and unconditional love only a companion animal, emotional support or service animal can bring.Your support helps to save, train, feed, house, provide veterinary care and transport a dog to his/her veteran in waiting. We hope you will become part of our Paws of War family! For more information please visit the website,

About the Petco Foundation
At the Petco Foundation, we believe that every animal deserves to live its best life. Since 1999, we’ve invested more than $230 million in lifesaving animal welfare work to make that happen. With our more than 4,000 animal welfare partners, we inspire and empower communities to make a difference by investing in adoption and medical care programs, spay and neuter services, pet cancer research, service and therapy animals, and numerous other lifesaving initiatives. Through our Think Adoption First program, we partner with Petco stores and animal welfare organizations across the country to increase pet adoptions. So far, we’ve helped more than 5.5 million pets find their new loving families, and we’re just getting started. Visit to learn more about how you can get involved.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Sully will go to Walter Reed after President Bush's Funeral

"Sully went to work with Bush this summer after former first lady Barbara Bush passed away earlier this year."
Washington (CNN) Sully, a yellow Labrador service dog who worked with late former President George H.W. Bush, is accompanying his master one last time by traveling to Washington with Bush's casket.
In a photo tweeted by Jim McGrath, Bush's spokesman, Sully can be seen sitting directly in front of Bush's casket at a Texas funeral home Monday morning, his head bowed in unison with the Bush family members that surround him.
A highly trained service dog, Sully will now go back into service to help other veterans and is going to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, former President George W. Bush wrote in an Instagram post.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Selfish Owners Use Fraud Service Dogs

Service Dog Frauds: Rising Problem Could Jeopardize Safety Of Truly Dependent People

Hartford Courant
Leonard Felson
October 23, 2018
Dogs trained to perform specific tasks go through rigorous training. It takes two years before service dogs, like the German Shepherd guide dogs trained by Fidelco at its two centers — one in Bloomfield, the other in Wilton — are placed with clients. That’s 15,000 hours of training, “more instruction than our kids get in kindergarten through college,” says Russman, and $45,000 in direct costs. Therapy dogs such as the ones Quinn trains go through 2,000 hours of task training in addition to obedience training.

Eliot D. Russman, president and CEO of the national Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, sits with several German Shepherds at the training center in Bloomfield. (Brad Horrigan)
On a recent Hartford-bound flight from Florida, a couple boarded with two vest-clad rare-breed small dogs. As they settled in their seats, they took the dogs’ vests off, unleashed them, and over the duration of the flight, as the human passengers dozed off, the dogs wandered up and down the aisle, even after flight attendants warned the couple to hold on to their pet companions.

It isn’t the first time Eliot D. Russman, a passenger on the flight and head of Bloomfield-based Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, has witnessed a spreading trend: dog owners taking their pets wherever they want, often under the ruse that the canines are emotional support animals, with online-purchased harnesses, vests and identification cards meant to prove it.

“There’s a growing sense of entitlement that people want what they want and they don’t care about anyone else,” says Russman, president and CEO of the nonprofit organization that breeds, trains and raises German Shepherds as guide dogs for the blind across North America. “It’s plain and simple selfishness.”

Service dogs have been assisting their owners for generations, not only guiding the blind, but also retrieving and helping stabilize their owners’ gait.
read more here

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Operation Desert Storm Veteran Got The Leash

Side by side: Blount County veteran sees brighter future with service dog
Daily Times
By Melanie Tucker
August 31, 2018
And on Thursday, in a emotional “Passing of the Leash” ceremony, these two were teamed for life.
The Daily Times Joy Kimbrough
Stewart’s story goes back decades when in 1989, he suffered an injury while a member of the Army’s 101st Airborne Division. A parachute accident and a misdiagnosis of two compression fractures have left him with debilitating pain. Stewart said the injury healed incorrectly; it now also affects his hips, in addition to his back.
A deployment during Operation Desert Storm, two in Afghanistan and four to Iraq have left one Blount County veteran grateful to even be alive but also suffering the repercussions.

At 51, Army Sgt. First Class (retired) Chuck Stewart has good days like anyone else, but on those bad days, his post-traumatic stress disorder takes over, and injuries from a parachute jumping accident leave him barely mobile.

“I have a 99-year-old body,” the decorated veteran said. His commendations include two Bronze Stars. He is on VA disability and turns 52 in September.

read more here

Friday, August 31, 2018

Camera captures Iraq veteran being run over by hit and run driver

Police Seek Man Caught on Video Using Car to Hit Disabled Veteran Who Asked Him to Pick up His Trash
KTLA 5 News
AUGUST 30, 2018

Authorities are working to identify a man seen on surveillance video attacking a disabled veteran with his car earlier this week in Gardena, allegedly because the veteran had asked him to pick up trash he threw in the street.

Joshua Byrd, who served two tours in Iraq with the U.S. Army, said he was walking his service dog outside the business complex where he works on the 13000 block of Cimarron Avenue around 6:30 a.m. Monday when he noticed the driver discard garbage from his window.

Byrd said he asked the motorist to pick it up but he didn't respond, so he picked it up and put it on the hood of the man's car.

The driver lingered in the area, and a couple minutes later took the trash off his car and threw it back into the street. Then, he began cussing at Byrd and driving in circles in front of him, the veteran said.
read more here

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Universal K-9's head indicted for fraud

Feds: Operator of dog training school used dead person to commit $1.26 million fraud
Express News
By Guillermo Contreras
August 24, 2018

"Some of the dogs were used in the training program, which targeted military veterans. The indictment said Universal offered two courses: the K-9 handler dual-purpose detection program for $6,500 and a trainer/instructor program that charged $12,500."
According to the indictment, Croft laundered some of the ill-gotten money by paying nearly $320,000 for the property on Tradesman, and $452,789 on a luxury 2017 American Eagle 45T Motorhome.
Bradley Croft Name: CROFT, BRADLEY SID #: 496848 DOB: 09/20/1971 Date of Photo: 12/05/2013
A principal operator of a canine training business in San Antonio swindled about $1.26 million from the GI Bill program by fraudulently claiming his trainers were certified and using a dead man’s identity to further the scheme, according to an indictment unsealed Thursday.

The indictment said Bradley Croft, 46, submitted to the Texas Veterans Commission the names of people he claimed to be certified training instructors, but they never gave permission for him to use their names for Universal K-9’s application. One instructor who was cited had been dead for two years.

Croft is charged with eight counts of wire fraud, four counts of aggravated identity theft and two counts of money laundering.

Arrested Wednesday, Croft had his initial hearing Thursday in federal court. Over the objections of one of Croft’s lawyers, Tom McHugh, U.S. Magistrate Judge Henry Bemporad ordered Croft held for a bail hearing and arraignment Tuesday.
read more here

Friday, August 3, 2018

Lowe's K-9 Employee Charlotte passed away

Texas Vet's Service Dog Who Worked With Him at Lowe's Died
The Golden Retriever was a customer favorite at the store
By Holley Ford
August 3, 2018
Luthy recently posted on his Facebook page that his beloved companion had passed away.
A Texas veteran's service dog who gained fame when she was hired to work at Lowe's has died.
Greg Jaklewicz - Abilene Reporter-News
U.S. Air Force veteran Clay Luthy and his golden retriever, Charlotte, were hired by the home improvement store in Abilene in 2016.
read more here

Original report from 2016

Monday, May 21, 2018

Iraq veteran's therapy dog mauled to death in Georgia

Decatur Iraq Vet Mourning Mauled Therapy Dog
By Doug Gross, Patch Staff
May 21, 2018

A group that provides service dogs for veterans wants to offer a new dog for a woman who fought stray dogs that killed her Ms. Pooh.

DECATUR, GA — A veteran of the war in Iraq now living in DeKalb County is hoping authorities will find the stray dogs she says mauled to death her therapy support dog.

WSB-TV reports that Cherice Jackson was walking with Ms. Pooh — her therapy dog which was being reviewed in order to become her official support animal — in Decatur on Friday morning when they were attacked by two stray dogs she thinks were pit bulls.

She fought back, but the tiny dog couldn't be saved.

"I spent probably 20, 30 minutes trying to wrestle her from him," Jackson told WSB's Justin Wilfon. "It's probably the worst thing I've ever seen. I felt like I couldn't do anything. I feel like I failed her."
read more here

Saturday, April 7, 2018

What do service dogs do to celebrate training? They go to Disneyland!

Service dogs in training visit Disneyland
ABC 6 News
April 4, 2018

Service dogs in training dressed up as Disney characters during their trip to Disneyland.

Service dogs in training dressed up as Disney characters during their trip to Disneyland.

A group of service dogs in training visited Disneyland dressed up as Disney characters, much to the delight of Twitter users.

The animals are being trained by Canine Companions for Independence, an organization that provides assistance dogs to adults, children, and vets with disabilities. The group trains dogs to become service dogs, hearing dogs, facility dogs, and skilled companion dogs.

Ortega the dog, who was wearing a Winnie the Pooh Bear hat, met the silly old bear himself!
read more here

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Senior Chief Brad stress reliever...retriever

Naval Base Uses Unique Strategy to Combat Suicides, Stress: A Dog
Fox News
By Terace Garnier
18 Jan 2018
There are only 29 dogs across the country with this ability, according to Kim Hyde, a manager with Southeastern Guide Dogs.

Sr. Chief Brad posing for the camera on Joint Base Andrews. (Fox News)
Every day, Senior Chief Brad greets sailors and Marines as they enter a military clinic for their regular doctor's appointments. Throughout the day, he makes his rounds and visits patients sitting in the waiting area, cuddling with them briefly. If he senses they are down, he takes action.

But he's no medical professional. He's a golden retriever yellow lab mix initially trained as a seeing-eye dog, a post-traumatic stress disorder therapy dog and, now, a stress dog.

As suicides across the military have steadily increased since 2013, according to the Department of Defense (DOD), a naval clinic on Joint Base Andrews in Maryland has found a secret weapon to sniff out military members dealing with extreme stress -- a dog.

When Senior Chief Brad senses someone is down, he instantly alerts his handler, Chief Bobby Long. Long, a medical technician, counsels the patient to figure out if they need professional help.

"People that need a little extra attention or are maybe showing signs of irritability, stress, depression, whatever it could be; he will really focus in on that person and then he wants my attention," Long said. "Some of the science behind that shows that dogs can pick up on pheromones that people emit when they are highly stressed and some science points to body language, cues that people leave."
read more here

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Invictus Games and Dog Named Jester

Pooch SAVED war veteran and helped him compete in Invictus Games
The Daily Star UK
Ed Gleave
January 14, 2018

Jon, who took home a bronze medal last year, said: "I'm trying to push myself and see what I can achieve and that all seems a little bit easier when I've got Jester with me.

Ex-Royal Marine Jon Flint fell 30ft while abseiling during a training exercise in 1996.

It left him with a fracture in his lower spine, but because he was so fit it went undiagnosed until he left the services.

After quitting the Marines his condition got worse until he was unable to walk unaided.

That's when threeyear-old labrador Jester stepped into offer him a lifeline. Jon, a former lance corporal who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, said: "It's difficult to put into words how much difference he's made to my life and the life of my family.

"When I was in the Royal Marines I knew the guys with me always had my back. And now I know Jester has always got my back."

For three years, assistance dog Jester - featured on ITV's Britain's Favourite Dogs on Tuesday - has helped with taking out laundry, opening doors, answering the phone and picking up Jon's stick.

Jon added: "He's always with me wherever I go and he enjoys what he does for a living because he's a working dog.

"He's trained to enjoy it. He makes the things that I struggle with a lot easier."

Thanks to vital help from Jester, Jon was able to join Britain's archery squad for the Invictus Games. And while competing he became pals with its founder Prince Harry.
read more here