Monday, April 5, 2010

A great story this week from the New York Times about vets struggling with P.T.S.D. getting help from specially trained dogs.

In dozens of interviews, veterans and their therapists reported drastic reductions in P.T.S.D. symptoms and in reliance on medication after receiving a service dog.
Veterans rely on their dogs to gauge the safety of their surroundings, allowing them to venture into public places without constantly scanning for snipers, hidden bombs and other dangers lurking in the minds of those with the disorder.
P.T.S.D is a serious problem.  It's not as easy to spot and treat as a physical wound, and consequently it has historically been neglected.  Diagnosis and treatment has increased in recent decades, and awareness has grown.

Our vets deserve the only the best care and treatment, and if dogs help soldiers recover than they should get dogs.  Kudos to Senator Al Franken for writing the bill and spearheading the movement in the Senate to fund the program and to Secretary Gates for helping repair the broken veteran care system.  We've come a good ways from the Walter Reed debacle, and hopefully will only continue to improve from here.

Photo Courtesy of U.S. Army


Drew said...

Therapy dogs are great. It's amazing how much healing can come from a well-trained dog. At the hospice house near my home, they have a dog trained from Therapy Dogs International and they really gave comfort to the residents there. I can't emphasize enough how effective they were at lifting the patients' spirits. Outstanding stuff.

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