America’s VetDogs organized Purina’s Better With Pets Summit, an exhibit that showed how dogs assist war veterans. VetDogs are service dogs who have been trained to assist veterans with physical problems, hearing problems, visual problems, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

A good night’s rest

The service dogs showed their different skills during the Pets Summit. One of their demonstrations was on nightmare interruption, where the service dog springs into action once they detect that the veteran has a bad dream. They pull the bed covers so that the sleeping veteran can wake up.

Kent Phyfe, a US Army veteran, obtained Mike, his service dog after serving the military for a decade and a half. This was upon the recommendation of his VA doctors. Aside from nightmare interruption, Mike helps Phyfe with simple tasks like calling 911 and pushing buttons in case of an emergency.

Mike is trained to activate an alarm that’s high pitched and loud whenever Phyfe passes out. The veteran has neurocardiogenic syncope, a condition that causes him to faint anytime, anywhere. Mike is a large dog whose bark is so loud that it can scare people off. He has to use the alert to let the doctors know that Phyfe passed out again.

A day in the life of a VetDog

The representatives from VetDog were thrilled to give demonstrations during the Pets Summit. When they saw the positive reactions from the audience, they couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear.

People left the summit with a deeper understanding of what a service dog does. They also had a clearer picture of the kind of work that goes into training service dogs. The training is not a walk in the park, but the results are worth it, especially when the trainers see the veterans forge strong bonds with their service dogs.

Credits to Mashable

 

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