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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Veterans With PTSD Getting Help From Man's Best Friend

DAYTON -- Nightmares, anxiety, and depression are some of the symptoms. As many as 20 percent of our young returning veterans have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. We met a local veteran who has been battling this for a decade already, but has a furry friend now helping him through it.

Dee-Dee loves her treats and her human, Stephen Haney. And he says he would be lost without his best friend. Stephen's a vet, and it has been about ten years since he was injured serving our country in Iraq.

"L-4, L-5 injuries in my spine, I have cartilage damage in my knee," explained Haney.

But beyond the physical, it is the mental injuries that run much deeper.

"PTSD isn't like some illnesses, it comes and goes in waves, and for a long time I thought I was pretty much symptom free."

But he wasn't.

"Anxiety related, I occasionally have issues with flashbacks certain scents will set me off noises, nightmares," Haney explained.

Two years ago, Dee Dee came into his life and he realized she was helping him cope with his symptoms. A trainer with Semper Fi Canines evaluated Dee Dee, and said she has the perfect temperament to be a PTSD service dog. Her instincts are right on.

"I would wake up from a nightmare, she was always there on me, like trying to wake me up, and that's one of the things they train them to do," Haney said.

And when they return home, she will be trained to turn on the lights, and secure the home, making sure it's safe. Stephen's started working with her but it's going to take a professional to get her to be the most effective.

'If it wasn't for her, my fiance, my kids, I honestly don't know if I'd be here right now," Haney said.

The training is not cheap and it is something Stephen Haney is saving for. If you are interested in learning more about Semper Fi Canines and the trainer he's working with, or if you would like to help the veteran out you can contact him at viper0737@gmail.com.


 
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