See This Therapy Dog Calm War Vet’s PTSD Anxiety

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Every 65 minutes, a veteran commits suicide.  This is a terrible statistic, but hopefully as the number of therapy dogs increases, this number will decrease.  Veteran Erick Scott may be off the battlefield, but his fight isn’t over, and thankfully he has an incredible dog to help him win.

He spent 16 years overseas, but doesn’t always feel fortunate to be home when so many others didn’t make it.  He has survivors guilt and post traumatic stress disorder, causing him to relive the horrors of his past.  Even sleep brings no solace; his dreams are haunted.

The diagnosis of PTSD and the medications Erick was prescribed were no help.  He didn’t want to believe there was anything wrong with him, and threw his meds in the trash.  Only when he learned about K9s for Warriors did he learn that something could help.

The nonprofit organization pairs service and therapy dogs with veterans who have PTSD, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and military sexual trauma (MST).  Vets from all over the country wait over a year to make the journey to Florida for the perfect dog for them.


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Erick was matched with a dog named Gumbo, who greatly helps ease his anxiety.  Though the well-trained dog obeys every command, such as “stay,” he knows when to break position to soothe Erick.  Though they may never leave him entirely, the symptoms are diminished in Gumbo’s presence.

A new K9s for Warriors facility is in the process of being constructed.  When it’s finished, the building will be able to house up to 16 vets while they complete their three-week training course.  This gives them plenty of time to get comfortable with their new companions before going home.  Vets do not spend a single cent on this service.

First Coast News partnered with K9s for Warriors and initiated Operation Orion, which is raising funds to help cover the costs of the new building.  Every dollar raised before January 2015 will be matched by the Weaver Family Foundation.  If you’d like to donate, please click here.


19 thoughts on “See This Therapy Dog Calm War Vet’s PTSD Anxiety”

  1. No veteran should be taken for granted, and supporting them doesn’t cost a penny. An open ear, a caring heart, and friendly hand is something we all are capable of offering. Dogs are great therapists, but it won’t hurt to give them a hand.

  2. It’s a great program but sadly not everyone knows about it. There should be more news on this so more veterans will know about it and get their own PTSD dog.

    BTW: Every minute hundreds of great pets get euthanized in shelters. Those shelter dogs can be trained to be service dogs too.

  3. Bring more war dogs home and re-home them. Who better to be a therapy dog for a veteran who understands and has been through thick and thin with them? Give them a 2nd chance in life vs leaving them as strays to starve to death. Gratitude shouldn’t be an option!!! They are too few rescue programs – the gov’t needs to be more!!!

  4. Paper – wonderful post.

    On 9/11, I worked at the WFC and saw the first explosion (didn’t know it was a plane) and saw the second plane, saw people jumping and heard them landing, saw both towers fall from blocks away. My German Shepard made it his mission to make sure I was ok after. He would visit me (he was owned by my family friend and NYPD officer who was at Ground Zero searching for the remains of his FDNY baby brother for months) in my apartment daily. I would be crying badly and he’d run up and jump on my sofa and hug me. He would literally hug me – wrap his head around me. I would just grab him and cry. He kissed my tear away. I was a mess for so long, but he always ran up to me and comforted me. When his owner came back from Ground Zero, he comforted him. He was the best medicine for both of us.


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