DOB: 3 JUN 2015
PAIRED: 29 OCT 2018
"When I first arrived for PTSD Service Dog training, I have to admit I was pretty stubborn and didn't want to follow any commands they were teaching. But then I started figuring it out. When I got to see my handler, we became inseparable. I got to go everywhere with him. I lean into him when he starts getting nervous. That helps him focus on me and not what is going on around him. All the commands I learned help me help my Veteran and I love it."
“It was Afghanistan. I could hear the bullets whiz so close to my head that I felt the wind as it barely missed me. I felt the ground rumble as mortars dropped within feet of our convoy, the jolt and the ringing in my ears. With dizziness and eyes not quite able to focus, I slowly realized our vehicle had just hit an IED...and then I was back. Awake from the flashback of war for the 4th time that day. EVERY SINGLE DAY."
Fireworks started nearby and his leg started shaking, his hands in tight red balls, jaw clenched. We started a game of cards, turned up the TV, and shut all the blinds, but not sure that helped. They train you well going to war, but not so much coming home. Until Winter (his service dog), Zack would never go into crowded places. We planned dinners out when it wasn't quite so busy and his back always had to be against the wall so he could see everything. The day he received Winter, we saw the light come back into his eyes. That evening, when his sister said she was going to go to Goodwill to look around, he actually asked if he could go with her! We were floored! It is absolutely amazing what Winter has done for Zack. From someone who has seen him go to places of war in his mind after coming home, the transformation is miraculous. I know Winter saved my son's life. ~ Mom