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Veteran with PTSD Gets On with Life Because of Service Dog

Veteran with PTSD Gets On with Life Because of Service Dog

admin No Comments March 22, 2017
blog title

Serving in the military is difficult. It became even more difficult for Karen Sutcliffe, the first woman to serve an active part in the Canadian infantry, not in an office position. She endured physical, sexual and emotional assaults, all of which have taken a toll.

Today Karen is in her 60s and successfully getting on with her life, despite the ongoing effects of PTSD from her time in the service. She credits Bailey, a Labrador-Golden Retriever mix with a major turnaround for the better.

The Source of the PTSD

Karen came from a military family, so going into the army was a natural choice. She was athletic and became a swim instructor and lifeguard at 17. Her dad taught her to shoot as a child. The idea of entering the military just to sit at a desk definitely wasn’t her idea of a career.

Finishing second out of 30 in her unit, Karen was trained as a radio operator and sent overseas. Minor assaults from others in the service started immediately. She also suffered a major attack in the 1990s. While attending a course, she was drugged, taken to a hotel room and assaulted multiple times. As a result she had to endure reconstructive surgery and a year of psychiatric care.

Karen then got on with her life, becoming a nurse and social worker and raising two sons. But the effects lingered and got worse. Over the years, she endured flashbacks, sleep problems, anger issues, depression and suicide attempts. Eventually she isolated herself in her apartment because she couldn’t handle being around people.

Moving Out of Isolation

At this point her social worker suggested she get a service dog through the National Service Dogs program. Enter Bailey, who made a major impact immediately. As Karen says, “I went from locked in my apartment 24 hours a day to all over the city!” Beginning with careful walks around her apartment building, she expanded her reach to the park close by and eventually church and the local shopping mall.

Bailey recognizes the onset of a PTSD episode and goes to her side immediately, breaking the cycle. In public when Karen gets overwhelmed, she stands against a wall and Bailey lays down in front of her.

The result is confidence. Karen feels she can cope, even in public with people all around. She still has myriad issues that won’t go away, but she feels she can fight them, with Bailey’s help.

The Canadian National Service Dog Program

The National Service Dog program is the only one in Canada that is accredited by Assistance Dogs International. The group depends on donations, fundraisers and sponsorships, and receives no government funding. Fees depend on a person’s ability to pay. A local veteran’s support group, the North Wall Riders Association, helps make up the difference.

Training a dog takes two years. Bailey, as well as every other dog in the program, is valued at $30,000. This takes into consideration breeding, training and ongoing support over the dog’s career, which lasts about 10 years.

Making Service Dog Registration Easier 

It is clear that service dogs are an essential part of the recovery process for many who have served in the military. A number of organizations help to support this mission. One of them is the USA Service Dog Registration, with a goal of making it as simple as possible to register a service dog or emotional support animal.

The service is free and involves just three simple steps. Find out more on the registration page. The website also offers a full range of service dog products, including vests, collars, leashes, and ID cards, certificates and tags.

USA Service Dog Registration also helps people with emotional support animals, offering a range of products in their ESA Store. The store helps owners make it easier for the public to identify their animals, with patches, ID cards, tags and certificates, and vests. The site also explains how the rules for service dogs and for emotional support animals in public are different.

USA Service Dog Registration is here to help. Check out the many resources available to service dog owners and people with emotional support animals.

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SERVICE DOG ID CARD USA Service Animal Registration Your Service Dog ID card will include our convenient QR Code for a quick scan link to our registry lookup. By simply entering your dog\'s registration number your official registered profile will be accessible for quick verification in the event the validity of your service dog is ever questioned. 2054
$29.99
Product Image
5 8170
What a pleasent experience dealing with USA Service Animal - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
EASY...thank you so much. We are traveling across country with our dog as we cannot leave her. She is by my side 24/7 with support. This web site is amazing and the shopping experience was super. Thank you so much from one happy traveler during Covid 19.
I never received all the thing I purchase - by , March 25, 2011
1/ 1stars
All of my item did not come in the package a lot of things are missing all I received was the is cards and vest I’m not satisfied at all
Size concerns - by , March 25, 2011
3/ 3stars
The small had gotten too tight around his ribs and was uncomfortable for Sensei so I purchased a medium size yet it’s too loose at it’s smallest adjustment.
Love it - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
Amazing, easy, fast
Ease-of-use - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
Very self explanatory and easy to use.
- by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
The online store was easy to use. I have not recieved my items yet so I am unable to coment on those yet.
Very smooth transaction - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
Love the fact that the right options were given to make our Standard Poodle a Service Dog. Thanks
Horrible - by , March 25, 2011
1/ 1stars
Been over three weeks and still haven't received my 140$ ESA letter, have been reading reviews from people who have received theirs in less than one week.
Great response back - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
I was very happy with the reg. And how I was inform of shipping , we ars happy for all the quickness ty ,
Great customer service - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
Great product. They emailed me before my items were sent letting me know I was ordering the wrong type of vest.. thank you!
Fantastic - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
Efficient and exceeded expectations!
Registration - by , March 25, 2011
4/ 4stars
It was a good experience. The prices could be a tad lower.
Excellent - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
Haven't used it as of yet,Will soon ,but shipped fast ThankU
Great service - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
Awesome!! Love it. Would like to update my picture though
Great experience - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
I have not received them for either dog, yet, but I am excited to have them registered.
I love it - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
its such a wonderful thing to have thank you i have also Recommended you to a friend and her surface animal as well could you send me the information for my friend thank you
I will definitely recommend it - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
Really good price definitely recommend this
Not so happy - by , March 25, 2011
1/ 1stars
I did not understand (a) that after the interview THE DOCUMENT IS EMAILED TO YOU. I paid big $$$ for a wasted delivery of a letter that is auto sent. I feel mis lead and CHEATED. I will never use yr crappy jilling service again!
Wonderful portions and service!!! - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
This was a phenomenal experience! I’ve never needed a service animal before but with being diagnosed with Anxiety and various other things I started looking into finding a puppy and training it for my service anima. This registry is simple and easy to use and gives me the piece of kind that I need to be able to take my new little one with me! Thank you!
Everything as Advertised - by , March 25, 2011
5/ 5stars
The mesh vest fits perfectly and will be cool for summer. The tags have all the correct information on them and look very official. It’s a relief to know my Emotional Support Dog is registered and I can feel confident, wherever I go, because his papers are official and in order. The online support was very helpful. Thank you.