June is PTSD Awareness Month. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated most with veterans, but anyone who has been through a traumatic event can experience it. Many people who go through a traumatic event may have difficulty adjusting and coping with things, but with time they can get better. Sometimes though, symptoms get worse and begin to interfere with day-to-day functions and disrupt their whole life. A service dog, or PTSD Assistance Dog, can help give an individual their life back.
Like all service dogs, they are trained for specifically what their owner needs. They can be trained to use scent to know when an anxiety episode is going to occur and are able to calm their owner to alleviate the anxiety. They can distract from a specific event that may trigger a PTSD flashback or create space in a crowd. They can also help bring medication or open and close doors for an individual. These dogs are truly amazing. PTSD Assistance Dogs are just one type of service dog our friends at 4 Paws for Ability train. They have a wonderful veterans assistance program to help those with hearing loss or mobility issues.
If you would like to get more involved with 4 Paws for Ability we encourage you to visit their website or follow them on facebook. There are many ways to volunteer, our favorite is playing with puppies. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram @Rivervalleycu, for updates on our current sponsored dogs.