As a professional dog trainer and competitor for over twenty-five years, I felt my calling was more. Knowing first hand how dogs help people get through life’s pains and challenges, I knew these beautiful animals had more to offer than to compete in shows and trials ... we needed to support others.
My dream of delivering ESAs to veterans became a reality with the formation of Canines 4 Comfort and now others can understand and appreciate the way dogs have brought hope and comfort to me.
As a healthcare worker and a family member of persons with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), I’ve witnessed and experienced the aftereffects, the isolation, the insecurities and pure “shut down” sometimes demonstrated by our embattled service members.
I’ve also had the great pleasure of witnessing firsthand, the calming peace brought on by the simple act of a dog lying next to one in the throes of a flashback or panic attack. Our canine friends express pure acceptance and love while providing a gentle peace that our soldiers so desperately need.
Our family has always had a fondness for animals. Our beautiful daughter is one of the inspirations behind this group of dog lovers coming together to help others who experience some of the same challenges she has faced, and can now manage with the help of her golden retriever.
Watching our golden retriever spark a new confidence in our daughter gives me hope that the love and attention from a dog can help others heal and achieve their own versions of success. This organization makes me proud.
I am a mother of two sons, each of whom served in the military, I know first hand the aftermath of war on a person’s emotional health.
Our family has always included animals, and we recognized very quickly how our dogs had an immediate calming effect on our sons.
I’m thrilled to be included with a team that can bring this comfort to others!
Photo courtesy of Crystal Higgins www.crystalhiggins.com