07 October 2019

Service Dog Helps Navy Veteran Regain Independence

When Navy Veteran Alessandra began experiencing PTSD related symptoms adopted service dog, Kota, helped her regain confidence and independence.

I have to say that I got blessed I

totally got blessed if any of these he's given me my independence my life back my name is Alessandra I was in the Navy for three years I left in 2016 after leaving I noticed that I was suffering from agoraphobia and PTSD related symptoms and I realized that I was losing a lot of my independence the marriage wasn't very healthy and the idea of going out and living like I am now on my own was terrifying because I was very afraid of people at the time I called VA dogs of Texas and their response was incredible I was in tears asking for help I told them that I wanted my life back Cota trained with Tammy very marvelous trainer one day he was ready and Tammy came and showed up at her house with Koda [Music] today we're in Kerrville Texas the VA dogs of Texas training facility and headquarters we come back here for aftercare training just to make sure that Co does on point with his public access as behavior one of our biggest jobs is teaching the veteran not only to be a handler but also to be a trainer we follow up to make sure that everything is going ok

we offer advice where we need to we offer training where we need to the mission of the organization is to provide local Texas veterans with service dogs and the training required to handle them free of charge to the veteran the service dogs that we select come out of various shelters with the intended purpose of turning them into service dog technical foundation as a result of them honoring our grant requests in fact over the last three years they they've given us two hundred and forty five thousand dollars in grant money as a result of that we've been able to do this this facility that we have which helps the vet and it helps us rescue more dogs I was the one that went out to visit with alessandra when we did the home visit with her she was actually hiding in the closet when we got there now now when I see her and it's been a couple years she's just outgoing my son went with his dad for the summer he goes with his dad for the summer and the first year it was very painful I couldn't stay at home and we started going to San Marcos River and I become very brave but and I'm a great swimmer but I just didn't feel powerful and calm

in the water and I guess he felt that and he started jumping in after me as long as I need him to behave or do something with a right reinforcement he'll learn he is a medical task dog if I get upset he starts nudging me starts licking me if I'm very upset he lays down and lets me lay on him and his breathing is very soothing his breathing patterns she's pretty much integrated back in society she's gone back to college she's been able to do that as a result of coda and she couldn't do that before I'm very grateful and I I think that if there's a veteran out there female or male struggling I recommend to face the fear and ask for help and get a service dog and if you can go with p8 odds of Texas Here I am living by myself and everything I'm doing everything I'm going to school I volunteer I take care of my son I've been coping with this divorce [Music] and and I really owe it to him [Music] you