Service dogs help soldiers, others
Oct 3, 2011
If not for Linus, a boxer-Labrador retriever mix, Private First Class Jennifer Allen says she would probably still be holed up in her room, suffering the affects of post-traumatic stress disorder that she experienced after her 10-month deployment to Iraq, NWCN News reports.
Linus has been trained as a therapy dog by Brigadoon Service Dogs, an organization that trains service and therapy dogs for injured veterans as well as children and adults with developmental or physical disabilities.
"He wakes me up from my nightmares... and he keeps me calm when I'm driving,” Allen told the news source.
Linus graduated as a Brigadoon Service Animal on Saturday along with three other dogs after he trained at Joint Base Lewis-McChord for the past year, the news source reports. According to the Brigadoon website, the organization has been around for six years and has developed programs for at-risk teens and veterans and has created volunteer opportunities for Girl Scouts and other organizations.
Brigadoon founder Denise Constanten told the news source that there is a great need for veterans to get a service dog. She said she has seen the way they cause the person's anxiety to fall away and their confidence to grow.