In Warriors Words

Impact of PPH on clients

Some sort of intro for the client testimonials

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Let us tell you about Steve who had returned from the war.  While he was there, he befriended a couple of kids.  At some point, he saw those two kids hanging from a tree – because the kids had befriended the Americans.  When he was released from duty, Steve came home to his wife and child.  After his second child was born, all of that vision came back and just hit him.  Steve started drinking and getting into trouble.  He and his wife divorced, he spent some time in jail, and his life was destroyed.  It’s not uncommon for veterans with PTSD.

Steve got involved with PPH and it was the beginning of recovery.  He started to warm up to the dogs because it’s impossible NOT to warm up to them.  He started to get back into life – the isolation and the emotional numbness started to subside.  Working and caring for the dogs turned his life around; it took him off illicit drugs, prescription drugs and he started to feel positive about things.  His depression lifted and his sense of purpose came back.

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A Veteran walks into an office and sits down on a couch.  He knows what he needs to do.  He has told his story to so many people, but he is dreading having to do it again.

Then a large blonde head pokes out from under the desk.

The Veteran’s face changes.  It lights up, and the Veteran asks, “can I pet the dog”?  Without hesitation the dog comes out from under the desk and greets the Veteran with a wagging tail and a few quick kisses.  His face stays that way for the rest of the time he is in the office.  When asked if the Veteran would like to come back, the reply is “will the dog be here”?

Community Mental Health Employee for Veterans

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A counselor is sitting in his office completing some paperwork and his boss comes in and says, “hey, can I borrow your dog for a minute?”

Sure, says the therapist.

An hour later the boss brings the dog back and says, “Thanks, you wouldn’t believe how much having the dog in the room helped my client”.

The counselor asks, “What did the dog do?”  The boss replies, “The dog just laid there and the Veteran just petted him until he felt better.”  The counselor questions, “Did it help?”  The boss states,  “More than anything else I have tried!”

Our PPH facility dog’s impact has been substantial.  The fact of the matter is that he boosts moral for the employees, he keeps us all sane, and the clients love working with him.

Community Mental Health Employee for Veterans

Some sort of intro for the client testimonials

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Without my PPH dog Yoko, I never would have been able to get a position after leaving the military. Yoko gave me the courage and ability to face the transition head on. She was especially helpful on job interviews. She was so very well behaved and gave us something to talk about while waiting for the tough interview questions.

It took awhile, but I have accepted a position with a non-profit 503(c) organization in Fairfax, Virginia. Yoko is always there for me, and she is a benefit to the staff I work with and clients we see each day. Some of our clients are facing difficult situations; when Yoko and I walk by, I can see some of their stresses wash away. Sometimes I will let them pet her–she loves that, but is always looking to me for “permission.” People often remark how nice it is to have Yoko “on staff.” I tell them it is just a free service we offer.

Richard, a PPH Service Dog Recipient

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I am not a viloent man, but PTSD just changes you – it makes you not yourself, and you get those urges and struggle not to act on them.  Newton, a PPH puppy in training, made it much easier not to, even when we only saw each other once a day.

Of all the dogs that PPH could have given me, I ended up with Newton, who was all grown up, and completely trained to PPH’s high standards.  I was overjoyed… and as long as Newton is with me, I’m OK

Chad H.

U.S. Army, Sgt. First Class, Retired.

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I wanted to work with service dogs for a long time.  My social worker and psychiatrist both encouraged me to work with animals.  There were no programs available to me until PPH came to Fairbanks. I enjoy working with the dogs. There has been times when my PTSD and TBI has affected me to where I did not want to go to dog training on Friday. I had to force myself to go. After working with the dogs – just that one hour – my whole day changed for the better.  It is amazing what working with the dogs can do to one’s attitude and emotional state.  My favorite part is just being able to learn how to train service dogs for other veterans.  I highly encourage this program to other Veterans.  I am looking forward to PPH getting a facility so that I can be more involved in the program and help other Veterans.

Jason Fraki,

Retired military, diagnosed with PTSD and TBI.

Our Long History

Paws for Purple Hearts is the first program of its kind to offer therapeutic intervention for Veterans and active-duty military.

Therapeutic Intervention

Under the guidance of PPH instructors, service members engage with specially-bred Golden Retriever and Labrador puppies.

HOW THE PROGRAM WORKS

PTSD patient-trainers must overcome their emotional and affective numbness in order to heighten their tone of voice, bodily movements.

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