03-17-2014, 08:53 AM
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Green Bay, Wisconsin
Mentioned: 49 Post(s)
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PTSD Service Dogs [Trigger Warning: Suicide, Mental illness]
This isn't something I've been able to share easily, so bear with me.
My father committed suicide in January. He didn't leave a note or even make phone calls before hand, it just sort of happened. We don't know what pushed him to this extreme, but we have many ideas on what could've led up to it. My father was a Marine that fought in Rwanda. He had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but he "hid" it fairly well. It wasn't until now that I realized a lot of his behavior that I saw as him not caring about me was heavily related to his infliction. He was starting to get help and even got his life back together, but I guess it just wasn't enough.
I recently met a man only a few years older than me going through the same thing and even just exchanging emails with him has led me to have a better understanding about my dad's thought process throughout my childhood. He is working with a trainer and a young dog on the way to becoming a PTSD service dog. The dog will provide him with comfort, companionship, and humor as well as having the ability to recognize triggers and signs of a PTSD attack and act accordingly by licking his hands or sitting down on his lap. He's also told me that there is a high success rate with PTSD sufferers who have service dogs.
Long story short, I want to help. I believe that this is something that could benefit a whole lot of people and improve their quality of life. Whether it's working with the dogs and their humans or just donating to a foundation that does, I'd like to be involved and do my part. Does anybody know of reputable organizations that fund these projects? I'm not really sure where to start.