February 17, 2017
Veteran Ryan Geddes with his support dog Yogi. Picture: Tim Hunter
Just ask former combat engineer Ryan Geddes.Two years ago his wolfhound cross Yogi bit him so hard he dropped the knife he was using to cut himself.
“I was cutting myself, trying to bleed out but he bit me and made me let go of the knife,” Mr Geddes told The Saturday Telegraph.Mr Geddes did two tours of Afghanistan before post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) took hold a few months after his return home in 2013.He’d had the now six-year-old Yogi since 2010.But amid the mental health challenges he was facing after he left the army, Mr Geddes trained Yogi to be a service dog so he could accompany him anywhere he needed to go.“He gives me the freedom to get out of the house and do things, he looks after me, watches my back and if I’m not feeling good he picks up on it before I even do,” the 30-year-old from Newcastle said.Veterans advocate group Soldier On has just launched its K9 Support Program in NSW and the ACT, hoping to train service dogs to help other veterans living with challenges such as PTSD, anxiety, hypervigilance, depression and physical disability.
Source:News Corp Australia
Veterans will be shown how to train their own dogs, if appropriate, otherwise the Australian Border Force is supplying labradors which, while being high-quality canines, are not suitable for its particular work.Soldier On national services director Rob Marshall said the dogs could be trained to enter a room and make sure it is empty before the veteran comes in, or stand in front of a veteran and create a protective barrier.They can even give physical contact and comfort.CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTERS AND NEWS ALERTSOriginally published as Dogs of war vets prove pillars of strength
Cesar Millan on Inspiring K-9 Stories in 'Dog Nation'
Cesar Millan on Inspiring K-9 Stories in 'Dog Nation'6:00
Dog behaviorist Cesar Millan and his son Andre discuss the series premiere of "Cesar Millan's Dog Nation" with WSJ's Tanya Rivero. They highlight inspirational stories of dogs working with veterans, police forces and children with autism.