|Patriot Paws Service Dogs|
Patriot PAWS is a 501 (c) (3) organization and is committed to providing service dogs of the highest quality at minimum cost. It takes 12 to 18 months to properly train just one service dog, and the cost of care and training for a single service dog during the training period is approximately $20-$30,000. There are no charges for those selected to receive the dogs. Only through donations (tax deductible) and volunteers are we able to provide these dogs to disabled veterans in need. Donate now to Patriot PAWS!
One compelling story that this charity made possible is from Michael Jernigan:
I have written several pieces for Home Fires these last couple of years. I have talked about my journey back from Iraq and my road to recovery. I have also opened up and let you into the side of my life that is haunted by demons. I have enjoyed writing and it has allowed me to face some of the things that have inhibited my growth as a person. In this post, I would like to talk about something not quite so serious, but very close to my heart: my guide dog, Brittani.Home Fires
Many of y’all have read about Brittani in previous posts. She is very important to me and my family. Brittani is more than just my eyes. It is true that she helps me get around and does one heck of a job of it, but she is also the family dog and one of my best allies in my struggles.
I got Brittani in the spring of 2007 from Southeastern Guide Dogs in Palmetto. Fla., as part of their Paws For Patriots program. It is a program that provides guide dogs for veterans who have become visually impaired serving in Afghanistan or Iraq. The program has been so successful that they have opened it up to other veterans who are in need of a guide dog. We have even placed therapy dogs at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington and the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.
Brittani and I have been all around the country together. Unfortunately, many of these travels have not been with my wife and son. But when I travel by myself I am never truly alone. Brittani is always by my side.
I have a very supportive family and we always include Brittani in this family. When I am alone on my daily tasks of going to school, navigating the city or even in a hotel room far away from home, Brittani is there to support me. She knows how I feel at all times. If I am feeling down she comes up to me and curls up at my feet to keep me company. Often she’ll bring me a toy and want to play. It is very hard to feel sad when you are playing with a puppy. She gets so excited that it melts my sorrows away. She stands by me no matter what the circumstances. Having Brittani is like having a counselor right there next to me all the time.