Adopted Dog Helps Veteran with PTSD – Heartwarming Story Contest

Dog Helps New Owner with PTSD

This pet rescue story was an entry in the 2012 Most Heartwarming Story Contest, by Helen Woodward Animal Center. The Most Heartwarming Story Contest is open to any and all participating Blue Buffalo Home 4 the Holidays pet organizations. Your organization can become a Home 4 the Holidays partner today.

Bruno Becomes a True Forever Friend

By Richardson Rescue, located in York, South Carolina

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Bruno, a two-year-old Labrador Retriever mix, had one of his front legs amputated as a result of an old gun shot wound.

Our goal at Richardson Rescue is to bring together pets and people to form a family. We believe that a pet should be a lifelong companion, and our adoption process is designed to match pets to families. Many of our pets choose their families and are “just meant to be.” This was the case with Bruno.

Bruno, a two-year-old Labrador Retriever mix came to us shortly after having one of his front legs amputated as a result of an old gun shot wound. Bruno was a happy, playful, easy-going guy who loved life, and never gave his missing leg a second thought! He quickly became a staff favorite. Overlooked by adopters, Bruno knew that some day, he would meet someone who needed him as much as he needed them. That day came when Bruno met Chris.

Chris, an Army Veteran who proudly served in the 2nd Infantry in Korea, had recently lost his beloved Rottie of fifteen years; Brandy. For Chris, his pets represent much more than companionship. Chris suffers from PTSD and says his dogs are a comfort to him. They represent security, friendship, and most of all, their presence in his life helps relieve stress and anxiety. Chris and his Golden Retriever, Oscar, were in search of a new companion to fill the hole they each had in their hearts from the loss of Brandy. Their new companion would need to be very special, and need them as much as they needed him. On that beautiful August day, they would meet Bruno.

When Chris and Oscar arrived at the Rescue, Bruno was waiting in the play area. As they entered and approached Bruno, he ran up to them and greeted him with his trademark smile, and looked at Chris as if to say, “Take me home Dad, I’m ready.” Chris and Oscar had found their new companion!

Chris feels that many other Veterans would benefit from dog ownership as a means of dealing with PTSD. He says having a dog can help relieve stress, depression, anxiety, and provides a sense of security, especially at night. As a result of this heartwarming adoption, we hope to inspire others to consider adopting a pet to relieve symptoms, of not only PTSD, but also other conditions. Richardson Rescue is working to enact a program, Pets for Vets, which will match dogs from our Rescue with Veterans. Seeing them together, and how Bruno seems to sense Chris’ needs, it truly one of the joys of Rescue.

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