How a Service Dog Unleashed Freedom for a Disabled Veteran


  Jennifer and Freedom

We at Patriot Service Dogs are so proud our mission serves to assist both disabled veterans and women inmates. Today, we’d like to introduce you to one of our disabled veterans who has benefited greatly from having not only one but now another service dog. Read how this new furry friend enabled her to once again enjoy the normal freedoms of life that we sometimes take for granted.

My Background:

My name is Jennifer and I am a 100 % Disabled U.S. Navy Veteran /firefighting instructor & paramedic with a master’s degree in special education. In addition, I am hard of hearing. I had my first service dog Zoe for 14 years. Zoe was popular, doing community service and working as a dual certified dog, which is unusual.  She was both a service and therapy dog. She fought hard but lost her battle to cancer. I was beyond devastated as she was with me through so much. My heart was in pieces. A very kind donor paid toward Zoe’s treatments and told me to find a new puppy to be trained as my new service dog. I located him through a great breeder. He is a black lab and was named after the breeder’s dog, Lugger’s “Freedom “Fighter who was named after the 911 Freedom Towers as well as military /firefighters.

How Patriot Service Dogs Helped Me:

I did a lot of research and found Susan Bolton with Patriot Service Dogs because I wanted him to be trained correctly. I worked with Susan and Lee in classes in Jacksonville.  Lee even drove to my home to help with training. Susan and her husband John took care of Freedom while I underwent liver treatment.

The training classes taught me how to successfully and properly administer commands, give praise and properly correct my behavior as handler and Freedom’s behavior as service dog. Freedom’s successful completion of training has allowed me to feel safe traveling in my recently purchased camper. He is part of the American Legion, local fire department, and attends their events as well as community events. He alerts me of danger /sounds and people while I hike on the trails and in the mountains. He, like Zoe, has a very loving spirit. He loves animals and people, and I cannot imagine my life without him. Susan and Lee, despite their own life challenges, ALWAYS respond to emails, texts and calls when I have questions, not just for us, but for other veterans, too. I am often complimented on how well- trained and attentive to my needs Freedom is. People even comment on how sweet he is.

The professional service dog handler training I received from Patriot Service Dogs allows me to handle situations as they arise, overcome my fears, and gives me and Freedom the life we both deserve beyond the walls of my home. My service dog allows me to feel safe and secure in my home by alerting me when someone is at my door, etc…  I have no doubt he would give his life for me as I would for him. He is my ears, my heart, my security, and without him, I would not be free to travel, love and trust!!!!

Over to You…

We are so happy that the relationship between Jennifer and Freedom has blossomed into a strong friendship and that both are doing well. It is our goal to help as many disabled veterans and military personnel as we can through our service dog program. You can help us by joining Amazon Smile.  It doesn’t cost anything to be a member and each time you purchase something on, a portion of your payment is donated to Patriot Service Dogs. Help us form more successful partnerships like Jennifer and Freedom. Join Amazon Smile Today!

About Us

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.

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