One Team. Two Heroes.
For decades, Canine Companions has been empowering veterans by providing service dogs – free of charge – strengthening their everyday lives.
With so many more veterans experiencing physical and mental disabilities, you can help by providing them with greater independence, confidence and joy.
For a limited time, all donations are automatically matched, dollar for dollar, up to $65,000.
Donate now using the form to change the lives of veterans today.
U.S. Army veteran Don Jones with Walla
For me, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) became an invisible scar that only I could see. It manifested as a cycle of anxiety and hypervigilance, making it challenging to fully immerse myself into civilian life. My PTSD feels like my soul has been tattooed or scarred from all the things I’ve seen.
In 2019, I took a step which felt almost foreign to me: I prioritized my well-being. I applied to Canine Companions for a service dog and was blessed to be matched with Walla, whom I genuinely consider my “life saver.”
Walla not only assists me in alleviating my anxiety in public situations, but she also comforts me during the haunting throes of nightmares by responding to tasks she learned in service dog training. Walla grounds me and makes me feel whole again.
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More Stories of Independence
U.S. Army veteran Rob Garlick with Fritter
“I never realized how little sleep I was getting until Fritter came into my life. Fritter’s warm personality and sweet demeanor provide a sense of calm by interrupting my anxiety before it escalates. I am building confidence in our ability to go out as a team in public. Fritter has given me a second chance at life.”
U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Ben Connor with Sims
“Sims has brought such structure back to my life and such joy. She makes life so much easier. Especially going out and doing things. I feel like a whole person all over again. She does things that most people take for granted. If I drop something on the floor, she can pick it up. She’ll open the doors when it’s hard to get through. I don’t know how I made it through all these years without Sims.”
U.S. Army veteran Kristen Holley with Dean
“I think especially for post-traumatic stress disorder there’s still a stigma. It’s hard to have that invisible wound, so to speak. I think that’s a misconception about a service dog team is that not all injuries are visible. For me personally, Dean really helps with my anxiety interruption, having confidence to go into public, and not just avoiding those situations.”
U.S. Army veteran David Medina with Kellen
“Kellen is my helper, my medical device, my ears and battle buddy. I suffer from neurological issues and that takes a toll on me every day, but with Kellen by my side, we take on the world like nothing. When we’re out in public, and I have an anxiety attack, due to flashbacks from serving overseas, he calms me by laying his head on my lap or applying pressure to my chest.”
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