Source: ‘You can see the changes’: At Plum event, Veterans attest to value of medical service dogs


“As a sufferer of post-traumatic stress disorder, Army veteran Debbie Richey left her house only rarely.

That changed with some constant canine companionship.

“I finally started to be able to go out in public. At first, I was a little afraid. I wasn’t sure. I never had a dog before,” Richey said. “I started taking chances: I’m going to see if I can do this. And every time I did, she was right there with me.”

Navy — ironically named as a pup, considering Richey’s branch of service — went through two years of training with the Williston, Fla.-based nonprofit Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs Inc. before being paired with her veteran.

“They handed me this leash and they said, ‘From this day going forward, you’re not going to be without this dog.’ And I couldn’t wrap my mind around that. How do you not go anywhere without a dog?” Richey recalled.

But the arrangement works:

“It made me happy with my kids. It made me a better mother, better wife.”

To read the full story, please visit:

Photo: Harry Funk | Tribune Review

Latest posts by Mary Jo Brandt (see all)
Service dog from Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs

PreviousHow to Get a Service Dog

Rhino Service Dog

NextPreparing Your Home for a Service Dog