Welcome to new client, Wounded Warrior Brian, who is from Missouri. He and his wife are staying at the Fisher House at the Center for the Intrepid at San Antonio Military Medical Center while Brian receives treatment for PTSD. With the help of trainer Beverly Benson, they found the perfect SDIT – “Will”!! It was wagging tails at first site!
WE WISH YOU ALL THE LUCK IN THE WORLD, BRIAN AND FAMILY!!!!
A warm welcome to new client, Wounded Warrior Mark, who is staying at Liberty Barracks at Ft. Sam Houston as he receives treatment for PTSD and TBI. Unfortunately, because of the rules at Ft. Sam, Mark’s SDIT, boxer “Jace” cannot stay with him in the barracks. So Cherry Jenkins will be boarding and training Jace while Mark receives treatment – he will certainly have “visiting rights” on weekends! And, he will be able to eventually train on weekend with Cherry in public once Jace has all the Public Access Commands down. SO sad that SDIT’s can’t stay in barracks if it’s transitional housing for those receiving medical treatment before they are released. In 2011, General Wong, the Commander of Brooke Army Medical Center issued a statement that they were allowed after a lot of hard work done by a lot of people, including myself. Well, General Wong left, and now it’s back to square one. But we won’t stop the fight!
JACE IS IN GREAT HANDS, MARK!!!!
Service Dog Express, LLC is proud to now be an approved member of this wonderful organization that features other business that are owned by veterans! The Veteran Owned Business Project is a comprehensive, user friendly portal/directory of small, medium and large businesses owned by veterans, veteran spouses, active duty military, reservists and service disabled veterans released on Veteran’s Day 2008. Now Americans in the United States and abroad have an easy way to proudly search for products and services that are unique in the fact that they are all made by, sold by or serviced by United States military veterans!
The University of Texas Health Science Center is conducting a study with my friend, Dr. Stephen Stern. Please consider joining this study that is investigating the adoption of a dog by a veteran with PTSD in collaboration with VA and the San Antonio Humane Society.
Meet new client, Wounded Warrior Bradley, who is dealing with PTSD, his beautiful wife Heather, and their SDIT, Ginger! Bradley and his family moved here from Ft. Hood three months ago to be near family, but it was a difficult transition for them leaving behind the military family and friends they had bonded with. It’s been a difficult time for all of them – married for three years, dealing with PTSD (it took a long time for Bradley to acknowledge he had it, understandably), but Heather could see it and now, here, they have a good doctor who is working with them to start the healing process. I also put them in contact with some other military families and the Wounded Warrior Project to help them get assimilated and let them know that they are certainly not alone!!
Ginger is as cute as a button! She is a boxer mix, but on the smaller side. Bradley and Heather have already done so much work training her on their own – she knows all basic commands and heels perfectly. The first session, we just talked at their home about all they had gone through and how Bradley and Heather would like Ginger to help, and we went through “sit”, “down”, “stay”, “leave it”, etc. The next outing, we went to Petsmart, and Ginger was just wonderful. She heels with no problems, responds to “leave it” with distractions, gets along with all the dogs she meets – big or small (we did some training with Wounded Warrior Anthony and his SD Tucker and his wife Rowena and her SDIT Blessed), and they all just got along like peas in a pod! Of course, we will do more training in public, but the main thing Bradley needs help with is what many of us with “invisible disabilities” need to deal with – what to say when someone comes up (kindly), asks to pet your Service Dog (to which Bradley usually says yes), and the inevitable question, “What does your Service Dog do for you?” It only happened a few times, but I explained to Bradley that the answer is ALWAYS his choice. He doesn’t have to answer, he can say “She helps me with my daily functioning”, “She is my medical alert dog” (remember – PTSD and all psychiatric disabilities are medical conditions), or he can talk about being a Wounded Warrior with PTSD. I reminded him that he will face this question often, and his response may differ given the situation he is in, but ultimately it is up to him. Yes, revealing how a Service Dog can help Wounded Warriors with PTSD can be educating and helpful for people who don’t know, but ultimately, it is Bradley’s business. So, they as a family will be figuring this out and I know Ginger will be a wonderful help for Bradley and Heather!!!