With one in eight soldiers reporting at least some symptoms of PTSD, there is no question that our nation’s warriors deserve some TLC after returning from deployment, and a group that matches man’s best friend with soldiers in need is answering that call for support.
A group of Russian Wolfhounds recently traveled to Las Vegas to lend their special brand of healing to vets traumatized by the horrors of battle.
“They have a mellow kind of laid back temperament. They are an independent thinker so they don’t require you to so their thinking for them. They are going to decide if they are going to do it or not,” says Karen Greenhill of Rushwind Kennels.
The dogs are offered to qualified vets at no charge, and Greenhill has recently received an urgent request from Operation Wolfhound: the organization said it needs at least 200 therapy dogs to assist returning soldiers with PTSD. She’s scrambling to cover those needs, knowing that every dog makes a big difference. The dogs will eventually be paired with vets before undergoing substantial training in tandem.
“They will sleep with you. If you are a person who thinks they need a weapon in bed and things of that nature the dog will get in bed and then if they hear a sound they will get up check the sound, and say its OK. Then the vet soon learns he doesn’t need these things in bed with him. They can put them on the dresser and put them away and the dog is the security blanket,” says Greenhill.