A Second Chance at Life

A man bends down and shakes the paw of a yellow lab service dog wearing a blue vestWhile serving in the U.S. Army, Rob developed resilience and tenacity as a leader of a multi-cultural team. But his service took a toll.
“In combat, I saw things no human should see,” Rob shares. “The trauma caused me to isolate myself and avoid social situations.”
Dealing with effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), he sought help from Canine Companions, applying for an expertly trained – albeit furry – therapeutic intervention: a service dog.
Rob was matched with Service Dog Fritter, trained in tasks to interrupt anxiety and hypervigilance, reduce the impact of his symptoms and to awaken him from nightmares.
“I never realized how little sleep I was getting until Fritter came into my life,” shares Rob. “Fritter’s warm personality and sweet demeanor provide a sense of calm, interrupting my anxiety before it escalates. I am building confidence in our ability to go out as a team in public.”
But he didn’t just gain a companion in Fritter. He forged a bond and found a network of support in the other veterans he met during his two-week Team Training class. It was a comradery he hadn’t felt in more than a decade.
With Fritter by his side and the newfound connections he has made, Rob says he is now hopeful for the future.
“Fritter has given me a second chance at life. I am grateful to the volunteers, donors and staff at Canine Companions who made it possible for me to live with greater independence, confidence, and joy.”