As part of our boarding and training program we are also offering specialized training for service dogs assisting individuals with PTSD as well as a range of other issues, such as migraine alerting, scent alerting for fire and gas, and more. We work closely with owners, their mental health professionals (if needed) and their specific issues to customize a training plan unique to their needs.
A subset of this, and an area of special interest to Mike, is training service dogs for combat veterans with PTSD. Mike’s life partner spent many years as a war correspondent on the battlefields of Iraq embedded with the US Army and Marines. Over the course of thirteen combat tours, she was injured by gunfire, IED explosions and rocket attacks on multiple occasions. She also witnessed the death of thirty friends and untold others she never knew. As with so many combat veterans, the worst scars weren’t external, but internal. And these slowly destroyed her quality of life.
It was only when Mike adopted and trained a dog for her as an emotional companion that her symptoms, which had proven completely resistant to conventional therapies, began dissolving. That’s when Mike realized how little thought is given to the mental welfare of combat veterans returning from deployment and how much dogs could help. And when he decided to “thank them for their service” by providing a service in return.
If you’d like information about PTSD service dog training or to discuss your needs for a service dog, please contact us here.