Service Dogs Help Wash Soldiers Battling PTSD
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Washington state's Joint Base Lewis-McChord partnered with Bellingham-based Brigadoon Service Dogs to bolster the effort to pair dogs with soldiers returning from combat who suffer from postwar side effects, including PTSD. (May 28)

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[Notes:LOCATOR: Puyallup, WASHINGTON. SOURCE; AP][Notes:VO: BALLARD WITH APOLLO](SOT: MIKE BALLARD/RECOVERING FROM PTSD) I think there's a reason why they call him man's best friend. You know, they understand how your emotions are, your feelings, what's going on. They're very in tune with you and just because they don't speak doesn't mean you can't listen to them. I talk to him and he talks to me. I read his body language.It was a Stryker, that we were in. I had one knee on the ground and the other one sitting beside me, in between the seats. There's not much room. We rolled over the ied and it hit right underneath where I was sitting. The shockwave went right up my right thigh, where your thighbone comes in to your hip, snapped it right there at the biggest part of the bone. Sheared it off and I just absolutely destroyed my knee way down past the knee and so compression on the back. A few faceplants along the way. I remember seeing it all.I've been in recovery for the last 2 years now. Multiple surgeries, one after the next and the physical therapy that goes on between and afterwards. Now going through the medical process. There's 3 of us in this big huge room and he walked in, sniffed me, went around sniffed the other two and ran at me and jumped on my chest and proceeded to give me a tongue bath for about 15 minutes. So we know he chose me and from there it was just learning to teach him the fine details of what i needed. What my medical details were. Dealing with the ptsd there's a log of anxiety, hypervigilence that's a big one. Being hypervilient of everything that's going on around you. It's really hard to just take a second to concentrate on the shot. i know with him there, beside me i don't have to worry about everything else that's going on around me. He'll alert me if there's anything i really need to pay attention to. So he gives me that freedom for just one brief moment to be able to pull back and the clarity and concentration on that one shot.If i end up on the ground, he is there. He's been trained to help me get up off the ground. I'm able to push my body weight up off the ground using his help. He can help me upstairs as well as downstairs and if i need to i can get him to go get my medication and bring it to me.On a little slant like this i'm actually able to pull on him to help me maintain my balance so i don't wall to one side or the other and it helps me to slow down a little bit. Take it a little easier. My outlook on life has improved. My ability to actually be on my own and get out and do things it's the difference between day and night.(****END****) VIDEO PRODUCER: matt friedman---------------------------VIDEO SOURCE: ap-----------------------VIDEO APPROVAL: ----------------------------VIDEO RESTRICTIONS: ----------------------------------MARKET EMBARGO (S): --------------------------------SCRIPT/WIRE SOURCE:g0020BC-WA--Service Dogs-Soldiers, 1st Ld-Writethr