Most people associate guide dogs with aiding the visually impaired. But dogs can also be trained for assisting people with a variety of other conditions.
A dramatic new commercial from Dutch organization KNGF shows how trained dogs can help those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), particularly in the case of veterans. The English translation here is a heartstrings-tugger: that service dogs are “not only for people who cannot see, but also for the people who have seen too much.”
These dogs will wake up their owners from a nightmare. Incredible.
Using dogs for trauma isn’t an altogether new concept, but it’s certainly not as commonly recognized as “seeing-eye dogs.” Psychiatric service dogs, as they’re sometimes called, can help treat the aforementioned PTSD.
The American Humane Society has a program called Service Dogs for Veterans, in which they help pair veterans with service dogs. According to their website:
When a veteran is identified by a mental health professional as possibly benefiting from the continuing and ongoing use of a service dog as a tool in the treatment of PTSD, traumatic brain injury, panic attacks, anxiety, depression or a bi-polar disorder, American Humane Association will assist the veteran in adopting and training a shelter dog as a service dog.
They recognize the high cost of mental health care, and present this as a cost-effective alternative for veterans in need of some help and TLC.
There’s also another program [adorably] called Operation Freedom Paws that helps pair veterans with any sort of health/medical issue with an appropriate service dog, and help restore their independence.
But really the main takeaway was summed up by one wise Reddit user: dogs rule, cats drool. “You don’t see cats doing that shit.”
Ain’t it the truth.[via Reddit]