Menlo Park: Canine-Assisted Warrior Therapy Reaches 1,977 Hours!
PPH Menlo Park & VA Partnership
Since only 2016, Paws for Purple Hearts Menlo Park has had 168 Warriors participate in Canine-Assisted Warrior Therapy®️, totaling over 1,977 hours! Our Menlo Park location is on the VA Campus and is intertwined with VA’s Recreational Therapy Program. Our Program Instructors work daily with the Men’s Trauma Recovery Program and the Women’s Trauma Recovery Program; Warriors work in both groups and individually when training our dogs.
Paws for Purple Hearts Menlo Park is unique because many of our Warriors have the opportunity to go beyond the standard training sessions. After getting comfortable training our dogs, many graduate to working with the dogs one-on-one outside of the training room during the day and sometimes overnight. This is an incredible opportunity to implement training skills in a less controlled environment where both the veteran and service dog in-training practice commands, patience, and interactions with strangers.
What Is Canine-Assisted Warrior Therapy?
Canine-Assisted Warrior Therapy allows military service members and veterans suffering from trauma-related conditions such as Post-Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury to participate in free guided training sessions. In these training sessions, Warriors assist PPH Program Instructors in training service dogs as an alternative form of therapy. Not only do our dogs transform the life of the Warrior they are eventually matched with, but the dogs leave a lasting imprint with the many who work with them along their journey.
Canine-Assisted Warrior Therapy creates a bridge for conversation and can help an individual reconnect with his or herself and other people, both military and civilian. Author John Grogan wrote it best, “It is amazing how much love and laughter they [dogs] bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them”. Over time, Warriors regain that sense of purpose by training a lifelong service companion for fellow comrades in need. After all, service is innate to both Warrior and dog.