The "former" Diff Ninja sent me an interesting article today on abcnews.com about an injured Iraq War veteran whose recovery has been greatly helped by a service dog donated to him by the nonprofit Puppies Behind Bars (an organization that trains non-violent prison inmates how to raise service dogs, which in turn are donated to disabled folks in need of a service dog).
Sgt. Bill Campbell was severely injured by shrapnel and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and found himself unable to leave his home. Sgt. Campbell also has a debilitating fear of someone sneaking up on him from behind, which made his "everyday life virtually unbearable."
Then Pax, a 17-month old Golden Labrador, who was brought up by Puppies Behind Bars and actually trained to help those suffering from PTSD, came into Campbell’s life and things began to change for the better.
Pax literally watches Campbell’s back, altering him if someone is coming up behind him, which allows Campbell to not be overwhelmed by his fear of being attacked from behind. Pax also is trained to remind Campbell to take his medicine and he urges Campbell to actually get out of his house and interact with other folks
You can read the rest of the story here. It’s a cool story and I salute Puppies Behind Bars for their efforts to help our veterans and prisoners, for that matter (who learn and benefit from the program).
Sgt. Campbell put is best in the article:
"He’s my friend," said Campbell. "I call him ‘my buddy.’ "