Today we are remembering those who have served, and thanking those who are serving. Thank you.
This seems an especially appropriate day to share this piece about how rescued dogs are helping veterans cope with PTSD:
Pets2Vets is based in Arlington, VA and was founded by veteran David Sharpe.
Sharpe served in the U.S. Air Force Security Forces where he endured several incidents that, at the time, didn’t affect his personal relationships with his family, friends, and colleagues (or so he thought). However, a short time after his first deployment during November 2001 where a life-threatening situation occurred (one-one confrontation with a Taliban sympathizer pointing his weapon in Sharpe’s face during Entry Control Point Checks), he began to act violently towards his family, friends and himself – all symptoms of Sharpe being diagnosed eight years later by the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) with having Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Sharpe found himself waking up in the middle of the night with cold sweats, random crying, having outbursts while blaming and questioning himself how he had handled the life-threatening situations he had found himself in.
Then, Sharpe was introduced to a little pit bull puppy, Cheyenne. Cheyenne witnessed one of Sharpe’s many outbursts (hyper-arousal) shortly after he adopted her from an independent pit bull breeder/ rescue organization. While Sharpe was in the act, he noticed this little pit bull puppy wagging her tail looking up at him with those playful puppy-dog eyes while turning her head from left to right, knowing that something was wrong with him. Sharpe found himself fixated on this new little puppy that had come into his life during his violent outburst and froze, picked her up and told Cheyenne (while crying) everything he was suffering with in his head.
Immediately, Sharpe felt so relieved; like a 10,000-pound weight had been lifted off his chest. Soon after, Sharpe’s family and friends noticed a significant change in his behavior – a reduced number of outbursts, better attitude, etc – all because of this little pit bull puppy. So, in October 2009, Sharpe set out on a mission to share his personal struggles and success stories with his brothers and sisters-in-arms, firefighters, police officers, first responders and patients suffering with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or similar symptoms. Sharpe’s hope is that P2V will aid them in their recovery while at the same time saving our nation’s sheltered animals.
Today, P2V has aided over 40 of our nation’s heroes while finding loving homes for sheltered pets in just under its first year of operation.
To learn more about Pets2Vets, please visit their web page HERE