Being in the military requires a lot of strength, bravery and true resilience. Some soldiers are away from their loved ones for months and sometimes even years at a time; when they finally return home, some suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which affects their daily life.
There are many different ways to deal with post traumatic stress disorder. One special way to cope is with the help of a service dog.
Service dogs, like this Yellow Labrador named Pax are there as a support system and to help these people feel whole again.
They can sometimes be confused with pets but they have their own distinct purpose. They are there to support these people and give them the sense of being whole again.
When Sgt. Bill Campbell, a 47-year old veteran, had PTSD and memory loss with a major fear of crowds, he decided to get his service dog Pax. Because when all the things that were causing him stress went away thanks to his new helper animal he was able to change everything in his life for the better!
Having a dog by his side has helped him manage horrible effects of the war and made his day-to-day life bearable again. The two share a very special bond that Bill is forever grateful for.
If it weren’t for Pax’s trainer, Bill might not be where he is today. He wanted to find her and thank her personally.
Pax’s trainer was a woman named Laurie Kellog. Pax was looked after by dozens of female inmates and a part of the service dog training program at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, according to Bill.
Laurie enjoyed training Pax for PTSD because it reminded her of what she went through with domestic violence. She felt safe around him and he helped her live in the moment rather than get caught up in the past. When Laurie found out that Pax would be going to a soldier who also suffered from PTSD, she was beyond thrilled.
Bill traveled to meet Laurie so he could say thank you in person for helping Pax become what he is today. It was a special moment for the three of them, as it changed both their lives for the better.
Pax knew that Laurie was his friend and so he ran right up to her when he saw her. He gave lots of kisses and wags with his tail!