A Man’s Best Friend..

rhgh

I adopted my dog Ranger as a puppy about 3 years ago from the OKC shelter. He’s been absolutely AMAZING. I’ve never had to have him on a leash, he’s protective but not dangerous to be around people, loving, and incredibly smart. I can literally take him for a stroll through a busy mall off leash and never have to worry about him leaving my side. Anyways, sorry had to brag on my baby for a minute.

My husband and him have bonded really well since we met 2 years ago, they’re best buddies. One time in college I had him in my car when I forgot I had a test to take in one of my classes that afternoon. My husband was on campus too and it was too hot to leave him in the car so we asked my husband’s professor if he could hangout for just the one class period. So they snuck him in the back door and my husband took him to his history class. He did great of course, despite the girls cooing and loving all over him.

We’d already thought about trying to make Ranger a service/therapy dog but mostly just because we wanted to be able to take him everywhere with us (classes, shopping, ext) and since my husband has disability we thought hey why not? We might be able to get away with it. After my husband took Ranger with him to class though we learned that having Ranger around actually DID help. My husband has a problem with large crowds, sometimes it can be very debilitating and some days he literally just cant be around anyone. Classrooms have never really been a huge issue or anything but no matter where my husband is he’s gonna be hyper aware and at least a little anxious.

Having Ranger with him in class actually made him feel abnormally calm for that kind of situation. I know they use therapy and service dogs for veteran’s with physical disabilities as well as PTSD. They even have a few programs out there that link the dogs with the Veterans. So now we are really looking into trying to make him a therapy dog for my husband. We could of course just go ahead and get the vest off line but I’d feel more comfortable with an actual certification, just in case. My husband may have to go back to the VA and have them officially qualify him for one as well but that shouldn’t be a problem since he’s 60%. I can’t wait to see how having Ranger with him at all times might help prevent panic attacks in large crowds such as state fairs and Church, or maybe even help motivate him to go places he’d otherwise avoid.

For many men and women coming home with PTSD a dog can help not just calm them down but make them feel like they aren’t failing everyone around them. Sometimes even when we don’t try to make our spouses feel this way they feel like a burden on their families. They can feel like they are always messing up or failing them. A dog however is always happy to see you despite any kind of stress going on. A dog can also help motivate a veteran (or even a spouse or child) to keep-on-keepin-on. After all, a dog’s gotta be fed, walked, and played with. It could even help with physical therapy. Say a soldier needs to continue walking on his/her new prostetics or a healing injury, or exercise daily to keep blood flowing..a dog can help motivate that soldier to do so.

In the future I think it would be really cool to start a program where we rescue dogs from pounds/shelters/streets and make them therapy/service and/or just good pets for veterans, military personnel, and their family. I’m curious what all of you think? If you are a veteran, spouse, child or military yourself do you think it would be beneficial to your spouse to have a dog companion? Or for you and your kids to have a dog while your husband/wife is away? I’m thinking sometimes it may even just make the spouse more comfortable when they’re deployed knowing that there is a dog at home that can protect his/her family.

I may be dreaming a little for the stars here but I would love to be able to send or take dogs to miltary hospitals and veteran’s retirement homes myself just for a little animal therapy.

Please let me know what you think and spread the word to any other veterans or family members you know! I’d love as many opinions as possible.

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “A Man’s Best Friend..

  1. I saw something on HLN about this. It was in Florida, they rescued shelter dogs and the men and women with PTSD helped train them. They took them out to a really crowded part of town and it showed how well the 2 ( the dog and the vet) relied on each other to stay calm in stressful situations. I think it’s a beautiful thing, two lives being saved.

    • Wow yeah that sounds awesome! i’ll have to see if I can find an article or something on that…I’m one of those who always wants to take every puppy and dog I see home with me so it would definately be a win-win in my book! It’s amazing what animals can do for us emotionally and us for them.

  2. My sister had her small loveable dog labeled as a “therapy dog”. She has/had depression and in all honesty if it weren’t for her dog, I don’t think she would have “pulled through”. The love of her puppy helped more than any drug her doctor prescribed her or any support or encouragement we as her family could give.

    She is also a recreational therapist at a nursing/assisted living facility and her dog goes to work with her as a “therapy dog”. I’ve had a chance to witness it first hand how her elderly clients who don’t speak and barely seem alert just light up when they see her dog or get to hold/pet him. Dogs are truly “man’s best friend”.

    As a military family we choose not to have a dog or any pet. Yes, it would be of great comfort while my husband is deployed. But just because of the frequent moves and our frequent traveling we choose not to. I would love to have a dog we just know at this point it wouldn’t be “fair” to the dog. However, we can’t wait to hang up the military hat and have a house/property with plenty of room to add a puppy to our family! 🙂

    • That is amazing! and so true, you can see the same effects within children who don’t speak, or are depressed or with hole themselves for any reason. It’s not really explainable but you’re right, man’s best friend just has a way of healing!…That does make a lotta sense with having to move all the time =/ pets can be a lot of work and sometimes more stress than good! I bet the you guys will appreciate the small things like a dog even more than most when you finally get to settle down and enjoy them! =) Sometimes we forget that everyone sacrifices in the military, not just the soldier/marine/ext.

  3. What a cute dog! That was so awesome of your husband’s professor allowing the dog to sit in class instead of the hot car ❤ Pets are very therapeutic to care for and I'm happy to hear you and your husband both enjoy the company of your dog! I'm sure your dog loves you guys, too!!

    • yeah I was really surprised they let him do that but the professor loved dogs apparently! haha they definately are therapeutic and we’re huge dog people! I already worry we’ll end up with 15 dogs by the time our kids graduate high school cause I wont be able to say no if they bring a stray home!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s