From The Washington Post – Dogs save lives in the field and back at home

Apr 10, 2018

How do you feel about your dog? Does he comfort you? Does he have a sixth sense when you’re distressed or worried? Does he lie next to your bed when you’re sick with a look of concern in his eyes?

Rarely will a dog owner say “no” to any of these questions. “Man’s Best Friend” has been serving as a therapy dog for humans since they first struck up a friendship hundreds of years ago. So it should come as no surprise that soldiers returning home from war would find a compassionate supporter in the form of our canine friends.

At Dogs For Our Brave, we recognized the need for our specially trained dogs for severely injured veterans, with our dogs providing not only emotional support, but also providing specialized duties that help veterans manage their everyday lives. In our journeys seeking appropriate service dog candidates, training the dogs, and pairing them with veterans, we’ve talked to many more veterans who are desperately seeking emotional support/therapy dogs to assist them with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), one of war’s most comment after effects in the world of soldiers.

It seems to be an easy connection to make—Man’s Best Friend to the Healing Power of a Canine. Yet, surprisingly, our Veteran’s Administration has been astonishingly slow to pay serious attention to this need. Even with the history of dogs in war both as workers in the capacity of bomb sniffing, search and rescue and more, while they’ve been supportive of service dogs assisting physical disabilities, they have been completely behind the eight-ball in offering the same support to PTSD service dogs, citing a lack of empirical evidence.

“For military veterans suffering from PTSD, are service dogs good therapy”, a March 27, 2018 article by Karin Brulliard published in The Washington Post, reveals that a clinical trial is currently underway with funding from the National Institutes of Health that involves 220 subjects enrolled and matched with dogs by late 2017, with initial results expected in 2019. Hopefully, the research will reveal what we dog owners have known all along: a good dog is the best medicine.

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