Where did you serve and what did you do?
Chaplain, 230th BSB, 30th HBCT, Iraq 2009-10
Tell us how your dog is helping you continue #StillServing in your community.
Lea is my 7 year old Border Collie / Terrier mix who serves as my service dog. She began going to my chemotherapy treatments with me when she was 6 months old and still in training. I call her my little ball of love and light that makes the world a better place. When I first got Lea going out in public was hard for me. Having her with me to hold space around me, alert me before my anxiety arose, etc. enabled me to be able to engage in life again. As I regained my balance, she developed her own way of bringing happiness everywhere we went. Pre-pandemic we volunteered with the Special Needs program at an elementary school. I taught meditative movement to the kids and Lea brought her own therapeutic relationship, even becoming part of some of the students IEPs. Lea is the embodiment of the saying “Who rescued who”. I really wanted an older dog when I went to the rescue, but a 12 week old puppy decided she was coming home with me that day. She was the smart one and knew exactly what I needed.
Why do you do it?
Animals have always been a significant part of my life. At a particularly low time in my life, going to a rescue and letting a 12 week old puppy adopt me was exactly what I needed. I tell people when thinking about getting a dog… let the dog chose you. They are smarter than we are.