Monday, 5 December 2011

Service Dogs Helping Veterans Cope With Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Trained service dogs are helping veterans cope with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Symptoms include flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety and uncontrollable thoughts about the event.

Stiggy's Dogs is a non-profit organization dedicated to the support of our Military Veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury. They offer a special way to heal through Psychiatric Service Dogs. The dogs are rescued shelter dogs that are trained specifically for each Veteran. By uniting these Military Heroes and our dogs, we are “Rescuing One to Rescue Another.”

Jeff Beck, A Vietnam veteran is helped by a service dog named Nala, a shina inu and corgi mix. The dog can sense Beck's anxiety attacks before they happen.

"I don't know when my anxiety is up. I know when somebody ticks me off and I'm ready to holler at them, and does the dog sense it before I do? I don't think I sense it at all. I think I just will go off on somebody but the dog will lean on me or if I'm standing, the dog will jump up and touch me to distract me to get me out of a situation," he said.

Beck and Nala have something in common. Vietnam left Beck with with anxiety, fear and discomfort and Nala experienced the same thing from abusive owners.

"In her past life, they would hit her," said Beck. "We both got lucky."

"It grounds me like an electrical current. I can go wild -- I've been wild, short-circuited. Anybody with PTSD can go off and this is. She's my ground," he said.

Nala barks when it's time for Beck to take his medication.

Dogs truly are man's best friend.

Read more here.

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