He has added to my strength and his gentle nature has opened my heart and mind… as long as Ace is with me, I know that I am just fine.
– Greg Alkerton –
FROM THE SPOUSE OF A VETERAN WITH PTSD IN REGARDS TO HIS WORK IN THE PROGRAM
Hi, my name is Susan and I am a VICDaholic!
What is that? Well someone who is addicted to Vancouver Island Compassion Dogs: not just the DOGS but the Program, the people and the community it has created.
READ MORE +
When my husband was first diagnosed with PTSD we thought we could handle it. He was getting help from the Base hospital and had many appointments with psychologists and psychiatrists. He received many medications, and instead of getting better he was getting worse. Even upon his medical release from the Military, things did not improve. So… try another tactic.
We found and joined a few programs: one with horses and one that was relationship and communication counselling. Both were fantastic, but just did not provide the long term effects we had been looking for.
My husband was, unfortunately, still suffering from self- esteem issues, nightmares, and being uncommunicative. We attended as many things as possible, trying to discover something that might help.
While at one of these functions, we met some people with Service Dogs and an organization was there with an information booth about Service Dogs. It was at that moment we found what we needed.
My husband began the application for a dog and went through all the steps. In fact he became part of a pilot project for funding also! We now have a most wonderful Service Dog, and are part of an amazing community at Vancouver Island Compassion Dogs.
From the very beginning, the people at V.I.C.D. made us feel comfortable, they did not put any pressure on us, and were there to help every step of the way. There are so many people in the group that just understand what you are going through, and it helps you feel that you’re not alone.
It takes time to bond with the dog and train them (a minimum of a year long commitment to the training alone!), and at the same time you are making friends with others! There are group sessions with a counsellor for the partner as well, so no one is left without someone to talk to. V.I.C.D. becomes a family that looks out for each other!
In short, his dog has given my husband a true focus for life. They are a team and he now gets out many times a day, enjoys talking to people about the dog and loves helping others. We are not finished the training yet. They have a few months to go before they are fully certified, but I have no doubt it will all go as planned as the trainers are amazing, the group is so helpful, and the environment is so caring.
All of the elements came together for us at just the right time and now we are both addicted to V.I.C.D. and so very very thankful for all they did and continue to do!
Training a team is provided free of charge to each recipient. It takes one year and between $25,000 and $30,000 for a team to complete the program. This includes dog food, veterinary treatments, obedience training, training equipment and gas cards to cover the travel cost to and from class. If you find value in what we do please consider donating.
Our program is provided free of charge to each recipient. It takes one year and between $25,000 and $30,000 for a team to complete the program, This includes dog food, veterinary treatments, training, equipment and gas cards to cover travel to class.
If you find value in what we do please consider donating. Your donations help remind our veterans that their sacrifice is not forgotten.