From Rescue to PTSD Assistance Dogs (Ajax & Jerry)
Service Dogs UK are pleased to announce that 2 of their PTSD veteran/assistance dog partnerships graduated this weekend!
Lee, is a Fire Service and Army veteran, who before the programme, really struggled with life due to his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He had difficulty leaving the house, he struggled with social interactions, he forgot medication and frequently felt that life held no joy. A lot has changed for Lee, while he still has daily battles with his PTSD, life has become more manageable thanks to his furever friend and now assistance dog Ajax. It’s hard to believe that this calm, beautiful creature was once an unwanted stray, luckily, he was taken to Dogs Trust where he was assessed and found to be an ideal dog for the Service Dogs UK programme. At a special and emotional presentation to mark the veteran’s graduation Lee was very grateful to the efforts made by all the team at Service Dogs UK saying..
Thank you will never be enough to express what you have done for me
Mark, an Army veteran, who also completed the course and Public Access Test, did so with Jerry, his working cocker spaniel and constant companion. It was, at times, a gruelling test for the veterans but they were both well prepared having trained the dogs under the guidance of our professional dog trainers. The lessons became the highlight of the week to the veteran/dog teams as they learned how to work together by using kindness and encouragement, their bond grew as they progressed and their trust in each other became unshakeable. The journey ended with possibly the biggest test of all as they pushed themselves at every turn to go into busy places and overcome their stress and anxiety with the help of their dogs.
Mark could not quite believe it when he awoke the following day and sent this message:
“It wasn’t a dream it is real and you wonderful people have made it a reality for both of us. Thank you so much for believing in us and giving us the opportunity to be proud members of Service Dogs UK”
It fills us with immense pride to have seen these two brave men commit to the programme, stick with it and really push themselves by doing things they never thought they could because they believed in their dogs and as a team they believed in each other. A new journey begins now for Lee with Ajax, Mark and Jerry but they will continue to be part of, what now feels to be, the Service Dogs UK family.
Service Dogs UK is currently looking for dog fosters based in West Sussex, Surrey and East & North Hampshire – click here to find out more.
If you are a veteran of the Armed Forces or Emergency Services and would like to find our more about the Service Dogs UK programme visit our Initial Application page.
To donate visit: justgiving.com/servicedogs-uk