Dogs have always been able to act as more than mere pets to us. They are trained to lead the blind. Their presence alone can calm or diminish anxiety altogether. And, for many of us, they tend to feel more like family members than family pets. So it is only natural that our faithful pups are seen as the go-to treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder in veterans.
Assistant Professor Margeuerite O’Haire of Purdue University is leading research to conclude whether or not specially trained canines can really, truly, help post-war veterans emotionally. Service dogs have already been deployed, so to speak, to assist veterans who have been physically injured, so there is good reason to suggest that they do a lot for the mental state of veterans as well.
Among the issues that these sort of service dogs could help with are:
– Quality of life
– Social / Relationship issues
The study focuses on how the companionship of these service dogs affect the overall stress and personalities of veterans. Such trained dogs can provide veterans with PTSD a wakeup bark from nightmares and keep them “protected” in large crowds. But the promise of such service from our canine friends really comes as no surprise, since dogs have long been associated with love and companionship.
They bring love and happiness into our lives and it is only fitting that they are able to bring that same kind of unconditional devotion to heroes in need.
For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.
Photo Courtesy of The U.S. Army