Recipient Anita, a Navy Veteran, has narcolepsy, mobility issues, and sensory deficits in her legs and feet that make navigating certain surfaces very difficult. Before being paired with her Guardian Angels Service Dog, Comet in 2020, she said that getting around in her daily life was a constant challenge.
Comet was trained to assist her with multiple issues. He was fitted with an ergonomic harness to better assist Anita with walking, bracing, and balance. If she falls, he performs the bracing skill to help her get back up, as well as helping her if she needs assistance as she sits down or gets up from a seated position. He also helps her wake up by kissing her on the cheek when having an episode of Narcolepsy.
Additionally, Comet helps Anita while out in public by shielding, which is a service dog’s non-aggressive way of creating a boundary to keep people from getting too close, which prevents them from bumping into her, possibly causing a fall. Due to previous surgeries, her spine is fused and equipped with hardware that does not allow her to bend normally, resulting in a harder fall than the average person.
“He’s made it so much easier for me. It makes it easier for me to go to the grocery store or go shopping and recently to attend a Guardian Angel function to raise money for a veteran here in Louisiana,” said Anita. With Comet’s help, Anita has also been able to start traveling again and attend family functions. She has also been able to combat the events caused by her narcolepsy that can occur while driving. During these episodes, Comet will whine or lick at Anita until she pulls over. She said in the two years she has had Comet, she has not experienced any serious incidents.
Comet also applies pressure to assist Anita during an anxiety or panic attack, where he places his body across her abdomen and chest area to help shorten the attacks.
“I don’t know where I would be at if I didn’t have him. If I can just inspire someone to donate or help someone understand or relate, maybe they know someone who could use help with a service dog, then it’s all worth it. Comet makes it so much easier to be more productive and independent in life and do what I need to do,” said Anita.
Bryan is a veteran of both the Navy and Marines. He was paired with his Service Dog, Andy in September of 2020. Andy’s training was sponsored by Ernst & Young (EY). Andy is Bryan’s second service dog from Guardian Angels , after his service dog, Remi retired after nearly 10 years of service to Bryan.
I researched several Medical Service Dog (MSD) organizations before applying to Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs. I was immediately impressed with the level of personal care I received to all my questions during the process, and the world class level of documented, repeatable training this agency’s medical service dogs receive, especially when compared to others.
I was pared with my medical service dog, Ammo in 2015. I can’t praise Guardian Angels enough for the after-pairing care they give their clients. They deeply care that the pairing is the right fit for both client & Service Dog, and always give immediate response & help with any questions or situations that I have had.
They make you feel a part of the Guardian Angels family, not just a client. I recommend them highly every time I am asked about them while in public with my dog and have received compliments on how well my service dog is trained v. other MSD’s the person has had visit their establishments. Having a medical service dog from Guardian Angels has improved my quality of life in so many ways. I am confident that not only do I have an amazing teammate in my service dog, Ammo, but with the entire Guardian Angels team!
I served as a Navy Corpsman for 20 years. I was witness to many horrific injuries and events. As an ambulance crew member and later an ER Supervisor, trauma was an everyday event. Being a woman veteran, I also experienced sexual discrimination and sexual assault.
All this combined resulted in PTSD, anxiety, and depression. I had become a hermit and withdrew from life. I could no longer function outside my home. Guardian Angels helped me start living again rather than just existing. When I met my dog Patton, I immediately felt less anxious and overwhelmed. He calms me, alerts me when my blood sugar is too high or too low, and has even alerted when I was having a stroke. Guardian Angels is not only a helpful organization…it is a lifesaving one. I’m not sure if I would be here today, if not for Guardian Angels!
Since having Cleo, we leave the mountain on an almost daily basis. Everyday we seem to find a place to go. I talk to people more than I ever have! Everyone compliments Cleo.”
Until you live it, you don’t know what these dogs can do! Since having Tilly, I’ve been everywhere and it’s amazing what I can do now!
Jonathan is an Army Veteran, and has been paired with his Service Dog, Char since July of 2020. Char helps Jonathan with several issues including: balance, syncope and NCS, or non-convulsive seizures. She also assists Jonathan with night terrors.