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Service Dog

Image courtesy of American Humane

Annie and Dottie

A Bond of Love and Trust

Dottie was in the lobby of her therapist’s office when something caught her eye: a pamphlet for American Humane’s Pups4Patriots™ program.

She mentioned it in her therapy session. Her doctor knew another veteran with a dog from the program who had progressed “leaps and bounds” with treatment because of it. Dottie was encouraged to apply to receive a service dog through the program.

When she first met Annie, her new service dog, Dottie didn’t know what to think, she had so many emotions going on inside of her. Tough to describe, she was beyond overjoyed, but it felt surreal, like this was ‘it’–what she had been looking forward to for so long.

At the same time, she wondered if it was really going to be all that she expected. It turned out to be everything she had hoped. “The moment I laid eyes on her, almost every doubt I had in my head the seconds before had disappeared,” said Dottie.

The bond Dottie shares with Annie is very strong, and so is the impact her service dog has made on her life. Once fearful of going places, Annie has helped Dottie venture out of her comfort zone and into life’s daily adventures. Dottie attended a big festival recently, which would have been very difficult to do before Annie came into her life. She gives Dottie a kind of bravery and courageousness that was lost before. “She’s ‘my girl’ completely. She follows me everywhere,” Dottie mused.

The impact Annie has had on Dottie’s life – a pairing that was only made possible through the Pups4Patriots™ program – is incredible. Dottie expressed that there’s so much more than ‘Thank You’ to say to those sponsoring Annie. The incredible generosity and empathy have truly saved two totally separate lives who are now bonded like glue. “Thank you for believing veterans when they say they’re not okay and then doing something so major to help. That is huge,” she said.

Dottie’s life has changed because of Annie, who has helped her regain her sense of self. If she could give back the money that it cost to care for, train, and deliver Annie, she said, it still could never compare to the immensely positive impact this experience has had on her life. The ‘Thank-Yous’ are endless.


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