September 5, 2012

White Dog and The White Dog Army
Wonderful World Wednesday

White Dog and her siblings often hear us talk about the state of isolation most in our modern American world exist in. They have been with us at the Park or other public places where we get sidetracked from our original purpose because we smile or nod at someone and they begin to talk about their life or troubles. The statistics show that loneliness is epidemic in the United States and it leads to all sorts of issues both physical and mental.

Fortunately, humans have a secret weapon against despair and being forgotten…lifelines, if you will…in the form of animal companions. The world becomes a whole lot more wonderful when there is some furry or feathered buddy to get out of bed and care for. What was grey and empty becomes full of color and adventure and sharing. Nothing can defeat a person who has a wagging tail or warm nuzzle or vocal welcome waiting to say “I am glad you are home, I missed you so much!”

And it is seeing the amazing effect of the compassion and motivation companion animals provide have that prompted the creation of Hero Pets 4 Hero Vets in northern Nevada. Share their story of making the world a little more wonderful and a lot less lonely…

Miraculous Recovery for Veteran After Getting a Dog
By Good News Network Tuesday, September 04, 2012 and Bus 52, The Huffington Post

After living through military combat duty, adjusting to civilian life is one of the huge challenges facing veterans returning home. Disabled veterans themselves, Michael and Brenda Carlson understand the trauma. But today they feel the serenity of knowing they are helping others overcome that stress.

Inspired by the sudden bonding between their father, Daniel Chapman, who is a veteran suffering with Vietnam-era Agent Orange poisoning, and a little rescue dog, Piper, in their home, Brenda had an idea.
Her father-in-law's improved condition following his friendship with the dog was remarkable: "Within months of taking the dog home, my father-in-law, who'd actually given up on life, had lost 40 lbs, his diabetes was under control." The effect that Piper had on Chapman was just the final push they needed to start Hero Pets 4 Hero Vets with compatible shelter pets.

"Our mission statement is to actually take rescue animals -- any sort of an animal -- and match it up to veterans in active duty or disabled veterans," Brenda explains. And when they say "any sort of an animal," that is exactly what they mean.

While they do pair up veterans with dogs -- including service dogs for those who need more than just companionship, they definitely offer more unusual pets. Think birds, turtles and iguanas.

For veterans who live in a small apartment or are unable to leave the house each day, a reptile can provide the perfect solution. They still provide companionship but are less work for the veteran on a day-to-day basis.

Veteran James Bruns explains that having his iguana has helped him greatly. "If you have responsibilities, it'll get you doing things." And because his iguana needs the sun, it forces him to "get outside with him." "It gets me out and doing things, moving about," Bruns says.

The animals they offer to the veterans are all saved from rescues or some who are about to become homeless. In pairing these homeless animals with the veterans, they create a perfect combination that helps both parties involved and truly changes people's lives.


Amber DaWeenie said...

This is so true. Thank you for posting this.

Remington said...

Great post, my friend....

Random Felines said...

great post - it is so very true. Mom's uncles dog used to go visit our great-grandparents before our great-grandma died. After she was gone, the dog kept going over and was such wonderful company. It is amazing that just knowing that there is some being that needs you to get up and get moving can be such a motivator. :)

Brian said...

YES! That is so true and such a wonderful story!

Ginger Jasper said...

What a simply wonderful organisation. Small and doing huge things.Such true words I love this and thank you for showing us. Hugs GJ