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How This Dog Saves His Veteran From PTSD, One Day At A Time

How This Dog Saves His Veteran From PTSD, One Day At A Time

Help K9s For Warriors give a new leash on life to rescue dogs and military heroes and fetch an extra month of BarkBox. Click here to learn more and donate today!

When Marine Captain Jason Haag returned from his third combat tour, everyone close to him began to notice that he was not the same Jason that had enlisted in the Marines in 1999. Traumatic brain injury and post traumatic stress had left Jason’s body and mind ravaged by his experiences overseas. If you had told him then that a dog was going to turn everything around, he probably wouldn’t have believed you.

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Jason says he was never really a dog person before he met Axel, the service dog that turned his life around. Though his military odyssey began long ago, he started down the road to recovery with a simple trip to the mailbox. There he bumped into a neighbor, also a veteran, who encouraged Jason to get a dog.

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“Does it work?” Jason asked. The neighbor insisted, and less than a year later Jason flew to Florida to introduce himself to Axel.

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At that point in his life, having since separated from the Marines, Jason wallowed in his dependency on alcohol and the prescription medication he received for his various injuries. He was at risk of losing his wife and children. Heeding the advice of his neighbor, he found the organization with the shortest waiting list for a service dog.

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He stayed in Florida for three more weeks to train with Axel. ” It was not love at first sight,” Jason says. But after their joint training was complete he could not ignore the help Axel provided. The comfort.

Now Jason works to raise awareness about PTSD and the troubles that plague our ever-growing community of combat veterans, always encouraging service dogs as a reliable method of recovery. But what makes dogs so special?

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Jason says that one of the many gifts Axel has is the ability to know when he suffers from nightmares. Axel puts his paws on his chest, or nuzzles him awake, freeing him from the nocturnal flashbacks that still occur.

“You can’t train that,” he said. It takes a dog to know what their human needs without having to be told.

Help K9s For Warriors give a new leash on life to rescue dogs and military heroes and fetch an extra month of BarkBox. Click here to learn more and donate today!

H/t to Fredericksburg.com

Featured image via Community Table

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