Disorders and Treatment
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As I waded through my PTSD symptoms, I realized that I needed more joy in my life. Along with my dedication to dance, I further endeavored to create opportunity for joy with my pursuit of finding a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier, which I did. Baylee and I met when he was just ten weeks old and we’ve been best buddies for the past 8 years. We’ve been through a lot together, including my complete recovery from PTSD! Having Baylee around to mitigate the darkness (he’s fabulously funny and has a very emotional and interactive personality) brought a new light into my life that helped me begin to reach outside of my illness and find the necessary strength to heal.
Tonight, on ’Your Life After Trauma’ we’ll have three guests talking about pets and their role in post-trauma recovery. Tune in to find out just how influential a pet can be for healing and call in with your questions for our experts!
If you’re not local you can listen by clicking on the LISTEN LIVE button!
To make a comment or ask a question during the show, call: 877.960.9960.
Or, leave a comment at the bottom of this post, or on the Heal My PTSD Facebook fanpage.
My guests this week:
Laura Westerfield is the founder of Paws and People Assisting Wounded Warriors (ppaWWs). ppaWWs is dedicated to the raising and training of Psychiatric Service Dogs and Mobility Assistance Dogs for Wounded Warriors with PTSD, TBI and other injuries. PTSD and TBI are the “invisible wounds” that many of our Warriors will carry with them for life. ppaWWs’ dogs help to alleviate or at least help them cope with these wounds so they can live out their lives with more independence and confidence.
ppaWWs also provides Therapy Dogs for Veterans, Active Duty Service Members and Military Dependents with psychiatric, emotional and learning disabilities. Social Therapy Dogs are trained to provide the unique K-9/Human therapeutic connection to many in military hospitals and similar venues. Private Therapy Dogs are trained to provide that connection on a temporary basis to individuals waiting for their Assistance or Service Dogs to be trained or on a Permanent basis to those who do not quite meet the criteria for an Assistance or Service Dog.
Janet Austin is the 49 year old wife of 30 year military veteran Bill (pictured left with therapy dog JP), who’s had 7 tours just since 1998 to include Bosnia twice, Kosovo, 2 to Iraq for OIF and 2 to Afghanistan for OEF. Bill’s PTSD symptoms started back after a tour in 2002, but no one wanted to talk about it. So, Janet decided to do something about it. While her husband was deployed in 2009 and even with Janet suffering from breast cancer at the time, she earned a Vet Assistant and Certified Obedience Instructor degree.
Janet’s passion is advocacy and awareness of PTSD issues, “Being given the opportunity to train JP and use my Obedience Trainer skills to actually help a person in need fills my heart.” While some don’t understand how Janet can let go of the dogs she has connected with and put so much work into, Janet explains, “I am not giving him away, he is with me so that in 6-9 months he can fulfill a higher purpose to allow another Veteran to be able to deal with his disease and live as fulfilling a life as possible.”
Janet and Bill have been married 20 years, have one son age 24 and live in Delaware City, DE. Janet enjoys a simple home life outside of working with my her own dogs, one of which has been a Therapy Dog for 6 years now. ”Snigglebutt” is a 90 pound Boxer with nothing but love to give to everyone he meets.
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