The Importance of Using Rescue Dogs:  “Purpose and Mission”

Many people think selecting dogs from shelters when training service dogs is simply about reducing the cost of each dog. But to a Veteran, working with a rescue dog is extremely important. Here is how one Veteran explained it to us…
When a soldier in the military wakes up each morning, he clearly understands his “purpose and mission”.  But if his service has ended or a soldier is injured and suddenly finds himself out of the military and back at home, that most important purpose of his life and career is stripped away.
Now try to imagine he is also struggling with symptoms of PTSD and TBI.  He white-knuckles it through the days and nights, trying to understand these new symptoms and deal with severe anxieties unknown to him in the past.
mikeNukka2
Marine Veteran Mike and his service dog Nukka
But when a Veteran seeks the assistance of a service dog organization that uses well-screened rescued dogs, here’s what happens:  He is matched with a dog that most likely, if not selected, might not have survived. Suddenly, “purpose and mission” has returned to the Veteran’s life. He knows that the dog’s life and success in the program depends on him. They work together in all areas, gaining confidence, bonding and truly rescuing each other.
It’s an inspiring, amazing thing.  A Veteran who has regained his independence and can reenter civilian life with the assistance of a service dog will tell you, with great pride, how they trained to overcome obstacles together.  They both have a new purpose.
The Army, National Guard, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy all have creeds. A creed is an oath or saying that provides a value structure by which to live or work. If you haven’t had the opportunity to read one,  here is the one for the Army and Army National Guard:
The Soldier’s Creed
I am an American Soldier.
I am a Warrior and a member of a team. I serve the people of the United States and live the Army Values.
I will always place the mission first.
I will never accept defeat.
I will never quit.
I will never leave a fallen comrade.
I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills. I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself.
I am an expert and I am a professional.
I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy the enemies of the United States of America in close combat.
I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life.
I am an American Soldier.