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Five Ways Service Dogs are Changing the Lives of Veterans

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Army veteran Amber Skylar developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after military sexual trauma (MST) and years of experiences she couldn’t stop reliving. “I hid in my house for years. I would watch people enjoy life, but I couldn’t live it.” Military life left Skylar with invisible wounds that would control her for 30 years, until a four-legged lifesaver, Canine Companions® Service Dog Arbor stepped in to help.

Canine Companions Amber And Arbor
Army veteran Skylar and Canine Companions Service Dog Arbor

FIVE ways Canine Companions veteran teams are impacted by service dogs like Arbor:

1. One-third report a decrease in medication since receiving their service dog trained to mitigate PTSD symptoms. Service dogs like Arbor are trained to mitigate symptoms of PTSD, such as interrupting nightmares and anxiety attacks, turning on lights and integration into therapies.

2. 74% report decreased symptoms of PTSD since receiving their Canine Companions service dog. There’s no cure for PTSD, but Canine Companions service dogs are making all the difference.

3. 87% report an increase in their social life since receiving their service dog. “Thanks to Arbor, friends and neighbors say I’ve totally changed.”

4. 89% report an increased feeling of safety since receiving their service dog assisting with symptoms of PTSD. Like so many Canine Companions veteran teams, because of Arbor, Skylar says she was able to walk away from looking at others out her window and step into creating her own life.

5. 100% report increased independence, happiness, and willingness to participate in therapies since receiving their service dog. “I dealt with a lot of shame,” Skylar says. “Arbor reminded me that I’m a good person.”

Arbor is one of hundreds of Canine Companions service dogs helping veterans to regain independence, and one of over 6,600 expertly trained service dogs provided by Canine Companions to adults, veterans, and children with disabilities free of charge.

This Veteran’s Day Canine Companions needs help placing more lifesaving matches like Skylar and Arbor, free of charge to clients.

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