A Match That Makes Both Lives Better

Here’s a riddle for you:

Question: What do you call it when good people and good dogs meet up with good ideas to help a good cause?

Answer: Life-changing.

We see articles frequently about soldiers in Afghanistan who’ve adopted pets there, and even some who have been lucky enough to bring home their furry friends. But what about the soldiers who’ve come home needing help to readjust to life in the US? For some, the physical and emotional scars of war are easier to manage with a service dog. But service dogs can be very costly, which prevents some soldiers from obtaining this important assistance.

Enter the fabulous story of Service Dogs for Service Men. Our own blogger, Barbara Masi, recently wrote about this unique organization that she is involved with. Inspired by the grandfather of the organization’s founder, whose own Greyhounds helped him after he returned from World War II, Service Dogs for Service Men trains retired Greyhound race dogs for their second career as beloved service and therapy dogs for veteran soldiers. It not only gives the retired racers a new start in life, but also provides the soldiers who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan with the day-to-day support then need.

A wonderful idea: dog and veteran, each needing each other, matched to make both lives better.

This weekend, to honor Memorial Day, the first Greyhound trained by the organization to help a veteran was handed over this his new companion, veteran Barry Offenburger. Hero II (Hero I was the first trained dog in the organization, but will remain their ‘ambassadog’) met a former soldier whose PTSD will benefit from the dog’s peaceful, caring personality.

Check out the article and photos in the Palm Beach Post.

It’s another testament to how strong, enduring and mutual the bond between people and pets really is. It’s also another great example of how people are putting their love of pets to work for good. May Barry and Hero II enjoy many, many happy years together, and may Service Dogs for Service Men have great success in their wonderful work.

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