PTSD Service Dogs [Trigger Warning: Suicide, Mental illness]

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PTSD Service Dogs [Trigger Warning: Suicide, Mental illness]

This is a discussion on PTSD Service Dogs [Trigger Warning: Suicide, Mental illness] within the Working Dogs forums, part of the Dog Shows and Performance category; 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 ...

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Old 03-17-2014, 07:53 AM
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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.
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Old 03-17-2014, 08:32 AM
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I think it's awesome that you want to do something to help! I'm actually working on getting my masters/license to be a counselor and veterans with PTSD are people I'd like to work with.
I wonder if Wounded Warrior Project has a program for PTSD service dogs. It'd be worth looking in to.
Thank you for sharing, I know it wasn't easy for you.
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Old 03-17-2014, 08:47 AM
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I'm so sorry about your Dad.

I was going to suggest the Wounded Warrior Project. They would be a good place to start.

Unfortunately, there are many new groups that have gotten into training dogs for people with PTSD. Some are good and some should be avoided as they are not providing what they promise and many soldiers have found out the hard way.
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:14 AM
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I am so so sorry. Please do seek some help suicide leaves so much damage. I'll will pray for you and your family.
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Old 03-17-2014, 01:33 PM
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I'm so sorry about your dad. It's great that you want to help. There was a psychiatric service dog website but the last I checked it was down.
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Old 03-17-2014, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by ZoesMom View Post
I'm so sorry about your dad. It's great that you want to help. There was a psychiatric service dog website but the last I checked it was down.
There are a lot of them out there. I live in Military City, USA (San Antonio,TX) and we have a lot of wounded warriors here, many with wounds, like PTSD, that don't show. The number of "trainers" that have popped up in the last five years is incredible. I watched and listened to one trainer and a soldier in a restaurant not long ago. I was sitting next to them and eavesdropped (shamelessly) on the conversation. This trainer was telling the soldier all sorts of bogus information about service dogs and about his dog in particular, as far as being suitable for the training.
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Old 04-11-2014, 10:11 AM
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I am extremely sorry for your loss, but you if you are willing you can help others in the same situation.

My name is Kyle Stephens I am a Director with a non-profit organization called Bulldog and Friends Rescue Center and a United States Marine Corps Veteran. The amazing team we have here provide "PTSD" AKA Medical Alert Dogs to veterans suffering from mental and physical disabilities. We have just launched a program and it is called Save a Dog, Save a Veteran. This program was started when the statistics came out that more than 22 veterans take their own life per day. We also have another program that was launched called Save a Dog, Save a Child. With the directors and our Agent (equivalent to a CEO) having young children, we were approached by a family that had a 2 year old son that was extremely epileptic. By the good graces of the neighbors pit bull he unknowing had a dog willing to help him. This dog was able to detect when the child was either having a seizure or getting ready to have a seizure not even being in the same house. This dog will physically wrap herself around his body and slowly lower him to the ground to save him from falling. While the seizure is happening she gently lays on top of him and licks his face until he comes to. When we heard this story we knew that we had to start helping more than just veterans. These program has been very successful and we have provided 38 service dogs in the last year and a half.

With all of this being said I would like to offer one of 2 things. If you are located in texas we would love to have you out at the property we are located in houston area. If we could ask for a little of your time to help train/care for these service dogs to be. If you would like to help in other ways you can visit Bulldog and Friends Rescue Center or you can visit Bulldog and Friends Rescue Center | Nonprofits - YouCaring.com if you would like to donate to help these service dogs to be, help a veteran, or child in need of a service dog.
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