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Veterans' Day 2017 - With a Little Help from my PTSD Four-Legged Friend

Posted by Christina Potter on

Each year on Veterans’ Day, Three Dog Bakery donates 15% of the sales of all TDB branded treats from every outlet to Friends in Service of Heroes (FISH). Established in 2013, FISH is a non profit organization dedicated to helping veterans. To date they have provided 13 veterans with service dogs. The donation made by Three Dog Bakery on Veterans’ Day goes towards supplying a veteran chosen by FISH with a PTSD service dog. In 2014 Three Dog Bakery raised $5,000. They raised $7,500 in 2015 and last year they raised $7,666. Our goal of raising $10,000 this year is ambitious, but it is attainable with a little help from their friends.


Post-traumatic stress disorder is a persistent mental disorder that can occur as a result of a traumatic experience. Experiences that may cause PTSD to develop range from dealing with death to losing limbs to traumatic brain injuries - things that typically occur in wars. Thus, PTSD is not an uncommon occurrence for veterans. The symptoms people living with PTSD undergo are debilitating and can paralyze their ability to lead normal lives. Thankfully, many of these symptoms can be alleviated by a service dog.

It is well known that living with a dog is beneficial to our health. The mere presence of a dog can lower blood pressure, ease depression, reduce stress and raise serotonin. PTSD service dogs provide moral support and encourage socialization. They help relieve the anxiety caused by the trauma the veteran has endured. Among the multitude of tasks that a PTSD service dog can perform are waking the veteran if he is experiencing night terrors, helping him calm down when agitated, providing a safe space around the veteran, alerting the veteran to the presence of others, reminding him to take his medication, and providing him with a sense of protection. The affection provided by a service dog helps the veteran know that he is not alone, thus reducing the feeling of isolation. Having a service dog allows the veteran the opportunity to regain a semblance of normalcy in his or her life. In most cases, service dogs reduce the symptoms associated with PTSD and even decrease the need for medication to treat those symptoms. The benefits of a service dog for a veteran with PTSD are unquantifiable and, often, life-saving. The immeasurable bond between a veteran and his service dog enriches not only the life of the veteran, but also the lives of those around him.

PTSD service dogs receive extensive and extremely specialized training. That training is time consuming and expensive, making the cost of a service dog prohibitive. To this end, each year on Veterans’ Day, Three Dog Bakery donates 15% of the sales of all TDB branded treats from every outlet to Friends in Service of Heroes (FISH). Established in 2013, FISH is a non profit organization dedicated to helping veterans. To date they have provided 13 veterans with service dogs. They also provide the dogs with vests that give information on how and where the veteran served. These vests allow the public to perhaps engage the veteran in conversation, show him appreciation for his service and, if nothing else, learn more about the men and women who serve our country. FISH continues to support the veteran after the dog is placed and encourages him to get involved in helping other veterans. The donation made by Three Dog Bakery on Veterans’ Day goes towards supplying a veteran chosen by FISH with a PTSD service dog. In 2014 Three Dog Bakery raised $5,000. They raised $7,500 in 2015 and last year they raised $7,666. Their goal of raising $10,000 this year is ambitious, but it is attainable with a little help from their friends.


If you enjoy Christina's writing, check her books out! She is the author of “Chester Gigolo: Diary of a Dog Star” and "Insider Training: Chester Gigolo’s Dog Training Secrets Revealed” for which she won the 2016 DWAA Captain Haggerty award for Best Training Book and the 11th Annual National Indie Excellence Award (Animals & Pets). She is also a contributing author to “Animal Stars: Behind the Scenes with Your Favorite Animal Actors”. She has written multiple articles which have appeared in various international publications.