First session with Wounded Warrior, James

From our trainer, Barbara, who had her first session with Wounded Warrior, James. James does not yet have a dog to work with, but we will help him find one. James was a rescue worker on 9/11 at the Pentagon while in the Army, and suffers from fear of crowds, panic attacks, depression, PTSD, night terrors, and has several triggers – especially anything that is burning reminds him of burning flesh and jet fuel. September is his most difficult month.

Barbara writes:

“Today’s initial intake session took place at James’ apartment in Irving, TX. We reviewed and signed the Service Dog Express contract, reviewed the Service Dog Express training manual, and discussed James’ needs and expectations. We talked about the items which would need to be purchased for the Service Dog and the veterinary care responsibilities.

Although it was difficult for him to talk about, James bravely shared that burning smells triggers the smell of jet fuel and burning flesh from 9/11. James is not able to handle being out in crowds, and this severely affects family outings. He also is triggered being around people of certain ethnicities; not trying to be prejudicial, but after tours in Iraq he constantly has the feeling of people out to kill him. James wants a Service Dog to alert him to his triggers and help him get in a safe spot to help deal with crowds so that he can stay at family outings. He would also like his Service Dog to help him with his night terrors and interrupt them, which would help his sleep. James’ wife is very supportive of James needing and getting a Service Dog. They have also discussed this with their 6 year-old daughter, explaining the difference between when the Service Dog is working and when she could play with the dog.

We discussed locating a dog for James. They have been in contact with a Rescue, “Operation Kindness” and the Irving Animal Shelter. He has also searched the Service Dog Express website to look at the Available Assessed Dogs. He understands the need for having any dog he is interested in needing to be assessed for temperament and trainability for Service Dog work.

We discussed rotating our appointments once a suitable dog is obtained and possibly meeting in Denton – it also depends on weather this time of year. Currently, James is working nights, and hopes to move to the day shift soon. In the meantime, we will begin our search for the best Service Dog for James!”