“My name is Holly and I live in Missouri. I was privileged enough to receive a service dog named, Liberty Bell, from Patriot Service Dogs in Jacksonville, Florida. I took a Greyhound Bus to Florida to meet her and learn how to work with her. Having Liberty Bell with me has been such a blessing. I cannot even begin to express how liberating an experience it has been.
Pre Versus Post-Service-Dog Experiences:
After spending many restless nights not being able to sleep, I can now get about four and, sometimes, even six hours of sleep a night because Liberty Bell has been by my side. Prior to getting my service dog, I had only been able to sleep maybe 20 minutes at a time here and there. Not only does Liberty Bell help me sleep soundly, she also has pounced on my chest to get me breathing again when my breathing occasionally stops.
I am also extremely hyper-vigilant so it’s awesome to have a service dog nearby that makes me feel more secure. For many years, I didn’t leave my house except when one of my adult children would go with me after they got home from work. Most of my shopping was done either by them without me, or after dark. Now, I can leave my house and go to the VA hospital by myself with Libby. I can go to some stores that I consider safe zones when she is by my side. She keeps people at a distance from me which is part of her training and that is a tremendous help. She alerts me when someone approaches me from my right side or from behind because I have no hearing in that ear. You cannot imagine how reassuring that is. Without my service dog, I would be extremely tense when people would approach me from behind or the right side because I couldn’t hear them coming. It made me want to jump out of my skin.
In addition to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, I also suffer from Military Sexual Trauma. To keep men at a distance, Liberty Bell will put herself between me and a man to enable me to feel safer. She looks around corners for me before I approach them and signals to me if someone is approaching or if it is fine to proceed by wagging her tail. I can then move around the corner safely.
Why I Am Grateful to Patriot Service Dogs:
As you can tell, my service dog has given me the opportunity of a new life that I might not otherwise have had. Without her, I would still be locked in my room, keeping the world out away from me. She has been a huge blessing in my life. I cannot thank Patriot Service Dogs enough for what they have done to bring some of the normalcy of life back to me. God bless them and God bless all of you who support their cause.”
Over to you…
When we see the incredible bond formed between our service dogs and disabled veterans, we know we are doing something right. Holly and Liberty Bell are but one service-dog team that exemplifies our mission to give disabled veterans and military personnel a more independent lifestyle. You can easily help us by joining Amazon Smile. It doesn’t cost anything to be a member and each time you purchase something on Amazon.com, a portion of your payment is donated to Patriot Service Dogs. Help us form more successful partnerships like Holly and Liberty Bell. Join Amazon Smile Today!
Patriot Service Dogs, Inc is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to helping our disabled military community gain a sense of independence through their partnership with a well-trained service dog. Our focus is placing service dogs with disabled active, retired or medically discharged military who have given so much for our freedom. We were formed in July of 2009 in Central Florida with initial offices in Jacksonville & Belleview. At the time of our incorporation, we had 7 founding members with an active and dedicated board. To get more informative updates about our organization, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. We welcome your suggestions as well as financial support through our Donate button on this website. If you are interested in volunteering, contact Susan Bolton at 904-777-1371 or Julie Drexel at 352-514-9903, and we’ll gladly find a spot for you. We hope you will share our blog posts with your family and friends.