A Letter To My Warrior: From Your Future Service Dog

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Dear Future Warrior/Handler,

It will not be long before I am by your side. I am still young – ten months – but the cool new dog training manager, Mike, at K9s For Warriors gave me a pre-evaluation. Mike said he believes I will make a good service dog. He also said I can get a jump start on my training. This works out well because my mom brings me on campus everyday anyway. Now, instead of being near her desk while she works, I get to hang out in the kennel and work with the dog trainers.

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I was assigned my very own kennel and trainer. My trainer’s name is Barb. She is really nice and gives me treats when I do a good job. I miss my mom sometimes and worry she misses me, but I know she understands the mission. I am doing my best to pay attention in training, so I can help you get better. At times, I get distracted. I see interesting people and dogs and want to play with them. But, then I remember that I need to help you, so I work hard to regain my focus. I know you are a veteran and that you have experienced trauma. I also know that you may be sad and worried. I am very sorry, and I understand what it feels like to hurt inside.

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Barb and I

The first family I lived with didn’t want to take care of me. I was lonely and felt like I was doing something wrong… something to make them not love me. I tried my best to be a good puppy. I became depressed and confused. My former family’s neighbors happen to be puppy-raisers for K9s. These special volunteers are fostering my friend Macho, who is also an aspiring service dog! They saw how I was treated and offered to take me to K9s For Warriors; they thought I would be a good candidate for the program. My former family agreed to let me go, and I heard them say that I would fail. It was very easy for them to give me away, which broke my heart. When the volunteers brought me to Camp K9, I was evaluated by a lady named Deb. She told me I was pretty awesome and that I passed my evaluation. I was so excited! I learned that I was going to a new home until I am old enough to move into the kennel, where I will learn to become your service dog.

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That day, I met my foster mom, Samantha. She embraced me with a very warm hug and made me feel special. I began to feel better, and the images of my former owners began to fade away. I went home with my mom that night, and we bonded right away. I love Samantha. I am not afraid to be myself around her. She will act silly with me. She also takes me to cool places like Starbucks. Samantha has a little boy named Mason, and I love him, too. I sleep in his bedroom with him every night. He tells me that I keep him safe. I enjoy feeling needed. Samantha and Mason have been very supportive of me. When Samantha was told that I would begin training, she was very happy and proud.

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Look at me practicing “down.” See the determination on my face?

It’s only been a few days since I started training. I have had some ups and downs, but I am ok with that. When I first went into the kennel, I was scared. But, I knew this would be an opportunity for me to conquer fear and doubt. I would like to help you do that as well. I believe we will make a good team. I am going to help you do the things you once enjoyed. I’ve learned some things about PTSD, TBI, and MST. I know I am a dog and don’t always comprehend people things, but I have a big heart and special spirit. I can feel emotions. I am a good listener, too. You can tell me anything. I won’t judge you. I can’t talk, so your secrets are safe! But, even if I had the ability to use words, I wouldn’t tell anyone. My mom recently went through a difficult time, and I would jump into her lap when she was upset. I know it made her feel better. I will do the same for you. Until then, I will be working hard to prepare for the day we become a team. I can’t wait to be your battle buddy.

Sincerely,

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7 thoughts on “A Letter To My Warrior: From Your Future Service Dog

  1. I can’t wait to have my service dog. I was already approved for one by K9’s for warriors and looking forward to the day I get to go to training. I love this organization.

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  2. Very powerful letter and tear jerker! Nov 27th can’t get here fast enough. So ready to meet my k9 companion and start my new life. Thank you k9 for warriors.

    Like

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