Rescued labradoodle helps Army vet cope with PTSD in ways drugs and therapy could not

Steven S. Harman / The Tennessean

At The Tennessean, there's a beautiful video profile of a young Iraq War veteran who was paired up with Skip, a dog rescued from a shelter, to help with PTSD.

"Before I got Skip about a year ago, I didn't leave my room, and i thought about killing myself every day," Alex Brown says in the interview, as the dog licks his hand.

"I tried every therapy the VA offered, every medicine, and it only got worse. With him, the first night he was with me there was a thunderstorm and he woke me up from a nightmare, and my life hasn't been the same since."

Where would he be without the dog?

"I'd be dead. One hundred percent certain."

More in the accompanying article:

Brown, who lives in Louisville, met the dog through K9s for Warriors, a program that pairs veterans with highly-trained dogs. The canine companions, which mostly come from animal shelters, serve as bodyguard, therapist, and friend to soldiers grappling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The program has a 95 percent success rate, according to Sandi Capra, director of development for K9s for Warriors. Because of what it does for them, the vast majority of its participants have either scaled back pharmaceutical treatment for PTSD or cut it out entirely, she said.
The organization's website is here: Below, another happy team of survivors, paired up by the nonprofit: Chris and Jake.