This is LiLou, (Top Right with white spot on her nose, only 4 weeks old!) she is the puppy that is going to change Michael's life. LiLou will be arriving from South Carolina at the beginning of March 2015. She will then begin her long journey of becoming Michael's PTSD Service Dog.
We have been lucky enough to find a very special breeder that is very passionate about the military and its veterans and already gave us $500 towards LiLou along with finding another donation of $500. We could not be more grateful. Kim and Lee Chapman at Avalanche Cane Corso have brought us one step closer to making Michael's dream a reality.
We also are fortunate enough to have a team of trainers, Matt Wilson and Jumoke Johnson, that are going to help Michael train LiLou over the next couple of years. They will be working with both LiLou and Michael to turn them into an inseperable team and reach the goals and potential of what a K9 service animal is capable of.
Here are a couple links for more information on what K9 service animals can do for soldiers with PTSD and TBI.
A little bit about Michael:
Michael is a disabled combat veteran who loved being in the military more than anything. Michael served his country for 11 years joining the Army before the 9/11 terrorism attack and deploying shortly after 9/11 and wishes every day he could still be doing what he loved.
He was wounded for the first time in Iraq on Easter Sunday, 2006. This was one of the defining moments of a disability that would soon be part of his every day life. Michael suffers from both PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and is now 100% combat disabled from the Army.
This is something that is very difficult for Michael to do becuase he does not like asking for help. He always believed that asking for help was a sign of weakness and as a leader he always tried to be the strongest for all of his soldiers.
Here is a link for those who do not really know what PTSD and TBI are and how they affect not only Michael but thousands of soldiers every day.
Michael lives in Denver, CO with his wife Arianna and English bulldog George. It has been a long haul over the past almost 5 years now, trying to get Michael comfortable back in the civilian world.
He is at a point where the VA has let him down more times then we can count and he was put on a waiting list for mental health (it has been 5 years now) so we paid out of pocket ourselves to get him the help he needed. He has been on so many different medications over the years, all with lasting side effects and none of which have made a positive effect on his symptoms. The next step of helping him is getting him something that is going to be there for him 24/7 that will never let him down and is there just for him, and that is going to be LiLou.
What LiLou is going to do to help Michael:
LiLou is going to be trained not only to protect and have Michael's back in public, but at home she will be there to comfort him and assist him when his triggers begin affect his daily routine. She will help to calm him and "bring him back" (as we call it) when he is angry, gets anxiety, has nightmares, flashbacks, or gets stuck in a trance (such as when he hears a helicopter or airplane or car back fire).
In public LiLou will provide the comfort and control that Michael needs. Such as hearing and seeing things Michael cannot and also keeping people at a distance so Michael can feel comfortable in public. We take advantage of just being able to go to shops, or to the mall, or even just walk down the street. With LiLou this will be a possibility for Michael to do once again!
Please help today!
- Terry and Muriel Shelswell
- josh stein
- Jim and Maura Maher
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