When retired US Army Staff Sergeant Justin Madore has nightmares, his dog Cody is there to wake him up.
Cody gets up in my bed and starts pounding on me — it’ll knock my wife right out of bed, said Madore, 37, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.
The dogs become a part of us — they know when there’s something off.
Cody, a 3-year-old Labradoodle, a Labrador retriever and poodle mix, has had special training. He and Madore met up at K9s for Warriors in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, where the non-profit center has trained dogs for two years to help veterans who suffer from PTSD and traumatic brain injuries, said executive director Shari Duval.
A US Veterans Affairs report reveals that of about 830,000 veterans treated at VA medical centres over the last decade, 29 percent had a diagnosis of PTSD, and 22 percent were suffering from depression.
K9s for Warriors offers veterans a three-week in-house program to meet and learn how to work with their dogs.
The dogs are not as highly trained as seeing-eye dogs for the blind, said Duval, but they do have special skills — via redwolf.newsvine.com