Many of you may or may not be aware that yesterday was Canine’s Veteran’s day. In honor of the day we see an amazing story coming out of Worcester, MA. Usually when you think of military personnel you don’t think of dogs. But that’s exactly what one dog, Gunnar is.
Gunnar, a 7-month-old Alaskan Malamute/husky mix has been “educated” to help veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. Amanda Sullivan is Executive Director and co-founder of Valiant Veterans and is instrumental in helping Veterans with canines. Sullivan is not a certified service dog trainer, but says she was looking for different ways to help improve the lives of disabled veterans.
“Some of them that suffer from more severe forms of PTSD and TBI have a tendency to fall into a depression and dogs can help with medical reminders,” Sullivan says. “The high energy breeds help veterans more because they’re able to sense things further away, their not desensitized to everything,” she says.
Gunnar has been involved in a number of training sessions for obedience and will continue to be trained so that he’s able to continue assisting veterans. The point and goal of this effort with dogs is to spread awareness that the treatment of PTSD doesn’t always have to involved numbing medications.
There are some very solid alternatives out there and canines happen to be one of the best. Just look at Gunnar.