Dog Wish is experiencing unparalleled success with our PTSD Service Dog program. This past year on a monthly and weekly basis, one of our dogs made the difference for somebody’s life.
At the same time the Veteran’s Administration has now STOPPED its P.T.S.D., Service Dog program, claiming it a failure. This is probably for the best, as this type of training should be left to top qualified, true professional, with strong education and experience. Dog Wish has recently partnered with Operation: I. V. to train Psychiatric P.T.S.D. Service Dogs for Veterans throughout Southern California. If you are a So. Cal. Vet with P.T.S.D. contact this organization, at http://www.operationiv.org. See you soon.
Some Client Responses
Dog Wish, thank you so much for my wonderful Service Dog, Bowser. It has been a little over a year since you have blessed my life with his positive changing presence. My health has improved so much that I am in longer need of some medications, and weekly visits by a home health care nurse. We have become a source of information for people wondering about Service Dogs, what they do, how they work, and the laws pertaining to them. He has not only helped me but I know he will help by being a ambassador service dog for my future clients when I finally become a psychologist. Mathew White 7-6-14
From: Sima, (unedited) 7-2-14
Before Buddy every single day was a struggle. Every morning I would fight with myself over whether it was worth it to get out of bed, and even the days I did get up were spent counting down the hours until I could crawl back in. My PTSD had complete control of my life. I would dread sleep because sleep meant nightmares and nightmares meant ripped sheets, waking up with scratches and bruises, and an approximate average of 3 hours of sleep a night. Leaving the house never felt safe so I slowly isolated myself from everyone and everything. I jumped at loud noises or a simple tap on the shoulder from behind. I became agoraphobic and stopped going to the most basic places because my anxiety would debilitate me. Even the simplest tasks required all the energy I had.
I was prescribed more medications than I can count and tried almost every different kind of therapy recommended for PTSD. Some helped minutely, some helped temporarily, and some just made the urge to be curled up in a ball in my apartment intensify.
Then I called Bob Taylor at DogWish about getting a service dog. Bob listened to everything I had to say. He listened to my symptoms, the therapies I had already tried, and about my hope for many years for a “magic fix”. Bob sent me lots of information about service dogs, especially service dogs for PTSD. He told me he was going to help me in any way he could, and he really did follow through with everything. He didn’t make me wait weeks or months to come out to DogWish, he just simply said “come on out”, so I went.
I was terrified flying out to California. Even though I trusted Bob I was afraid this was just going to be another failed attempt to “fix” my PTSD. I was scared I wouldn’t find a dog, or that they would all be able to tell that having a dog come everywhere with me for the next substantial portion of my life wasn’t exactly something I was thrilled about. I wanted my life back so badly but the thought of something else failing was horrifying. I got to DogWish and I was shaking stepping out of the rental car but was very quickly enveloped in a huge hug from Bob who could so easily see how nervous/anxious/terrified I was. And then he started bringing out dogs to meet me. I had requested a female so first he brought out a female shepherd, she was beautiful but had zero interest in me. Then Bob asked if I was willing to try a male because he had an idea for a dog for me. I agreed and out came Buddy. He sniffed at me for about 3 seconds before resting his head on my lap and looking up at me with his beautiful golden eyes. And it was magic. I was hesitant to say that Buddy was the dog I was going to take home without working with him, but I knew it, and Bob knew it, and Buddy knew it too.
I worked with Bob, the other handlers, the veterinarian on staff. Everybody was patient and kind and never rushed me. It was overwhelming but at the same time all I wanted to do was learn more, train more, and spend more time with Buddy. Bob took the pair of us everywhere. We went to Costco, the supermarket, the bank, restaurants; places I had been avoiding for years. Buddy could sense my anxiety and walked right alongside me, brushing my leg with his body, telling me I didn’t have to be afraid, he was right there. I slept through the night for the first time in many months. Buddy slept next to me, waking me by licking my hand or face when I started getting anxious. I was nightmare free for the first time in years. It had been so long that
I had forgotten what a good night’s rest can do for a person. It was a wonderful few days, learning, training, and stepping way out of what had become my very small comfort zone.
A few days later it was time to bring Buddy home. Again I was nervous. What if Buddy only cooperated when the other handlers were around? What if he didn’t behave for me in the airport? What if the airline gave me issues about bringing Buddy home on the plane? Bob reassured me endlessly that we’d have no problem and he was absolutely right. Buddy was excellent in the airport and on both connecting flights back to New York. We got home and Buddy continued to be everything I had hoped he would be.
We started slow but it didn’t take long before I enjoyed leaving the house again. I started working more hours from the office and less from home. I started going out with my friends again. My therapist was amazed at how Buddy had truly given me my life back. My father apologized to me that he hadn’t known about service dogs for PTSD earlier because all of the sudden I was myself again. Not the girl who was terrified to leave her apartment but the old me who wanted to live life, do the things I love, and be happy.
Life with Buddy was a big adjustment from my life before but every part of it was worth it. Pretty soon I had moved out of my old apartment in a neighborhood I didn’t want to be in and had moved down to the beach to an apartment with a backyard for Buddy and just steps away from the beach (which I thought was for me until I found out how much Buddy loved it too). Now it’s our daily ritual to either walk on the beach or boardwalk before heading to work.
Pretty soon the anxiety that used to be constantly building was simply gone. The supermarket wasn’t scary anymore because I knew Buddy was always going to be coming with me. Running errands became easy. We spend time with my family, we spend time with my friends, and everybody just loves him. I’ve taken him to work, the gym, restaurants, bars, family celebrations. We’ve gone hiking, to concerts, to movies, to museums. Endless lists of places I wouldn’t have gone without him and now get to experience again without triggering a panic attack.
I may still have PTSD, and I may still have occasional bad days, but every day with Buddy is another adventure. We have hiccups every now and again but for the most part I just keep learning more and more from him. I will never be able to thank anyone properly for the wonderful ways Buddy has changed my life; Bob and everyone at Dog Wish for training Buddy to be MY dog, my parents for the greatest gift I will ever get in my entire life, my siblings and extended family for accepting Buddy into their lives as well, my friends for not only not caring about Buddy tagging along but truly being enthusiastic about it, the new neighbors who reached out and ran down to check if I was okay when Buddy started barking at a cat outside (“I thought something was wrong because he NEVER barks!!”).
Buddy is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. He was and is my “magic fix”. Buddy gave me my life back. He rescues me from the thoughts and flashbacks in my head. He saves me from the anxious trains of thoughts that used to be endlessly racing through my mind. He protects me when I feel vulnerable, he stays by my side when I feel strong. I couldn’t have asked for more, I’ve already gotten more than I imagined was possible.
Dog Wish Comprehensive Service Dog Program
The program for Psychiatric Dog Wish Service Dogs is the culmination of 30 years of work and research. Today, Dog Wish provides the best Psychiatric Service Dogs you will find. You won’t find a better resolution for yourself anywhere.
The mental disorder known as PTSD has become a world disability order, affecting more people each day, disabling their ability to function, and robbing them of the ability to live their life.
Living with PTSD to many of us is like living in a trapped existence, struggling for survival against your own mind, powerless to control what your mind feeds you, victimized by your own life experiences. I receive a number of new emails and phone calls each day from people who are suffering from PTSD, extreme panic attacks, and acute anxiety, asking if we train dogs to help those with these neurological disorders. The answer is simply, for 30 years now I have trained dogs for all neurological disabilities and disorders. At Dog Wish we concentrate on the answers to our client’s needs, not the problems they have.
The people who have been and are contacting me, are reaching out to find help for the problems that their doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists, therapists, etc., have not been able to help them find. Most of them have been told that:
• Their particular situation is not resolvable,
• They must live with their dilemma for life, (which gives them great depression).
• So far, I have found that in many cases this is just simply NOT TRUE.
Our Dog Wish Service Dogs have helped every single handler so far. Many of our clients were incapable of resolving their problems without our dogs, but found tremendous relief with them. The following are a few examples of people with problems we have resolved.
Some Examples of PTSD Experiences:
Mathew White was flown to us on a special flight, and fought his way to our facility. He came with no hope, beaten down, disabled, and sat in our living room ready for another failing experience. We brought his dog in, “Bowser”, who had been tracking his scented clothing articles for 4 months. Bowser immediately recognized him, was overwhelmed with emotion, and ecstatic to have found his owner. They instantly bonded, and it was the first time Mathew felt peace.
Mathew had been disabled for 12 years with PTSD. He often slept half the day, woke up depressed, anxious, and guilty, for being a mentally crippled slob. He had three children, and couldn’t be the father he wanted to be. He NEVER left his home without his wife. Often, he would have to cut out-of-home experiences in half and come home, spending the rest of the day in bed. He use to teach Martial Arts, but for several years now he couldn’t even go to work outs.
After a couple of hours we went to a store. We barely made it out. We had to stop and sit down twice because Mathew nearly fainted. He started to stutter, and couldn’t speak coherently. He sweat profusely, soaking his clothes, and had to shower when we got home. It was a mess. His phone calls home were horrible. His wife was so scared that he would come back home the same way he left, she was negative and brutal.
We went to work on dog training. After about 15 minutes Mathew began to smile. The horrible manic pain left him, and he started to enjoy his dog. The second session his mind began to clear. It’s one thing to explain this experience, and a complete other thing to live through it. Mathew felt happy, content, and at peace inside of himself for the first time in years. He didn’t want to stop. He didn’t want to leave. He didn’t know what to do.
Finally Mathew said, “I’m hungry, let’s go out to eat. It was the first in 10 years of PTSD he felt that possibly he might enjoy going out. We did. It was a great experience. Half way through our dinner the waiter got into an argument with a man sitting at the table next to us. Suddenly they stood up and started yelling at each other. Bowser stood up too, then, and barked so loud, they both ran away. My first thought was for Mathew. “Are you OK”, I asked? “I’m great”, he said. “Couldn’t be better”. The man came back, apologized, and retained his seat at the table. Bowser just layed under the table, quiety, and didn’t move. The man was even able to pet him, and Bowser didn’t mind.
Three days later we took Mathew to Costco and shopped for an hour, taking him all over. Many people wanted to see Bowser, and Mathew spoke with them all. We went outside. He was calm, happy, hadn’t started to sweat, spoke normal, and wanted to go back inside. “No”, I responded, “it’s time for you to go home”.
That was a year ago. Today Mathew is finishing up his University Degree, working, being a father, and living his life. His Manic behaviors have gone from 95% to 10%, and he can function like anyone else. Bowser made all the difference, and changed his life.
“Dog Wish made all the difference for me. Bowser has completely changed my life. Thank you Bob!”
Sima was a charming, beautiful young woman, who flew to us in a last ditch effort to get help with her devastating PTSD problems. She had been through 3 different professional Institutions where professionals tried to help her. She had seen several Psychiatrists and Therapists, been through all the procedures, tried desperately to do everything possible to help with her problems, and had given up. She was paralyzed with nightmare experiences every night, that left her “scared to death” cuddled up in the corner of her bedroom, crying. She felt such pain that she had tried to overdose, and stop it any way she could. Nobody could help her, and her life was a living HELL.
She flew to us, and drove in, out of her mind in terror and pain, and sat huddled, not speaking, not looking, just staring into space. I watched her for a couple of minutes and told my staff to bring out “Buddy” a 16 month old male Red and Black medium sized German Shepherd, we had been training, but had not placed. We work with synergistic energies, and as Buddy approached, his energy and Sima’s energy matched, exactly. Sima looked up as Buddy came into the patio and jumped into her arms, licking her face, and pushing his body into hers. I gave her the leash and told her to take him for a walk. She did. Sima stayed in our home, because I wanted to make sure she slept OK, and she did. In fact, since Buddy, she hasn’t had another traumatic episode of nightmarish horror. Sima trained with us, like Mathew did, and went home. Two days later she went to a Wedding, then a graduation, a family get together, and started resuming her normal life. That was eight months ago, and Sima has not regressed. Her doctor has cut her meds to the lowest level, and she is now resuming her life. Buddy has made all the difference.
“Buddy has given me back the life I love. Going to Dog Wish was the best thing I’ve ever done.”
We live in a world full of energies that we don’t understand and can’t explain. No matter what is happening in the world around us, we feel trapped inside a body, being fed feelings and emotions by our brain, without the ability to control or stop them. No matter what anyone says or does to help you, it is you who are suffering, you who are taking what life gives you and creating your own world, and you who have to stop, focus, and create your own reality.
We do understand where you are, what you are suffering, and why you need a Service Dog.
If you are the one:
• whose mind is creating the pain and suffering and
• your brain is responsible for creating the torment you are living with
• who has to respond to the energies around you
• who has to make your brain and body do what you want
There must be a way for you to gain control over your own brain, and stop the process, without prescription drugs, and twenty more years talking to a psychologist.
YOU need to be able:
• to re-program your brain
• to produce what YOU want, and
• not what it wants.
Through your Dog Wish Service Dog It is possible for you:
• to reduce the material in your own brain that is causing YOU to suffer,
• replacing it with programs that YOU can create yourself.
• This will feed you what YOU need to control and live YOUR life with peace and happiness.
This is what our program for PTSD dogs is all about!
It is my personal belief that most of the people I listen to and hear from:
• are not capable of resolving their problems in their present condition.
• are disabled by their disorders,
• and find themselves victimized by their circumstances and the energies around them.
*Therefore the first thing Dog Wish does with each dog is to teach each dog to focus 100% on their handler. Our dogs are trained to be “brainwave sensitive, and they learn to keep constant connection with their handler.
The results of this training are that:
• the dogs become a “counter-balance” for anxious, fear based, hypertensive, uncontrolled behaviors in their handlers,
• can stop seizure typed behaviors, and
• have a SUPER calming effect on their handler.
What we see continuously is that through the relationship with their dog:
• The handler is empowered,
• They lose their constant panic attack behaviors,
• They find it much easier to control their mental processes, and
• Get a huge break from the constant anxiety their brain feeds them.
This is a powerful and sensitive training that goes way beyond the norm.
Even if you are aware of the processes your brain and body are going you can’t stop them just because you want to, or prepare to counter the effects of these processes. However, Dog Wish Service dogs are trained to tune in, understand, and alert to the neurological needs of their handler!
Our dog can smell abnormal behaviors. It requires a superior instinct in the dog to respond to our training and be capable of the high level of scent detection we require to pass our tracking courses.
• Each dog is trained with scented articles from their future handler, which we teach them to track and find.
• By learning to detect and find their handler’s scent, which we use for all training, they learn over 100 details about their handler before they ever meet.
• In learning this training the dogs become sensitive to the regular, and then abnormal smells their handler will put out, and can alert on those smells accordingly.
• We are NATIONAL AND WORLD champions for tracking and scent K9 detection.
That’s why from the beginning of our training and through the entire course of training we provide, the methods for communication we use to instruct our dogs and handlers as well are holistic, therapeutic, healing, and teach their brains to slow down, stop, focus on this second only, and just relax. The training is very intense, and very demanding. In order to succeed it requires 100% attention to detail, every second of the training. As a result the dogs, and the handlers, learn to focus, to think only of what they are doing right now, to slow down and pay attention to the very important details they are learning, and not to be distracted by anything, a sound, a movement, a thought, anything! We literally help you to retrain your dog. As a result your brain will stop producing the behaviors you hate.
We do Passive Protective Training with each dog,
• Who are trained just like a Police K9, to care for and protect YOU.
• The proper protection dog does not and will not try to hurt anyone.
• They simply will not allow anyone to hurt you.
• They are vigilant and committed in their desire to make sure you are at all times OK, no matter what.
THE DOG WISH PROMISE
I have come to bring goodness:
Through The Life Force We Harness,
In Each Dog We Produce,
In Every Dog Wish Service Dog,
Through The Power We Endue,
And The Abilities We Build,
By The Transformation We Channel,
And The Connection We Make Possible,
We Simply Bring Change:
From Chaos to Order,
From Hopelessness to Hope,
From Despair to Joyfulness,
From Doubt to Faith,
From Disability to Ability,
From Sickness to Health,
From Ignorance to Knowledge,
From Death to Life.
Dog Wish will be glad to help you too.
Bob Taylor, President
Dog Wish, Incorporated, http://www.dogwish.org