Buddy The Service Dog

August 4, 2020

It’s been a while since we last checked in with Buddy and his training to become a service dog for a veteran suffering from PTSD. Because of the pandemic, he’s a little behind schedule, but Shelter to Soldier is still optimistic that a match with a veteran is coming soon.

“We’re having to pick large outdoor spaces away from people – outdoor cafes, not indoor restaurants,” said Graham Bloem, Shelter to Soldier’s director.

As a result, it’s hard to get the dogs the training they need around large groups of people, strange situations and noisy environments.

Unfortunately, Buddy isn’t alone. The pandemic has forced the nonprofit’s trainers to get creative to help all of the dogs stay on track, but that’s easier said than done.

“We are, at times, months behind,” Graham said. “And the scary thing about that is when you’re behind on the dogs, you’re behind on helping veterans.”

Many veterans suffering from PTSD are afraid to leave their home, regularly experience horrific night terrors, and some admit they’ve tried to commit suicide. There’s no question that service dogs from Shelter to Soldier have saved lives, and during this pandemic, their service has never been needed more.

“The isolation is causing even more struggles and challenges than ever before,” the organization said.

It’s been exactly a year now since Buddy was rescued from a shelter and started his training. He has advanced enough to begin what Graham affectionately calls “speed dating” where Buddy meets veterans to see if they’re a good match.

“Things are starting to heat up and get a little bit serious,” he said.

Also getting a little bit serious is Shelter to Soldier’s fundraising concerns. Its 8th annual “Be The Light Gala” – scheduled for August 22 – is now a virtual event.

“This is our largest fundraiser of the year,” Graham said. “It’s what allows us to continue to help dogs like Buddy and other dogs in the program.”

  • Most Recent News

    Helping Vets And Pets

    December 4, 2020

    AUTHOR AND ILLUSTRATOR Phyllis Limbacher Tildes always had a soft spot for those in need, and when she saw a video of rescued shelter pets being trained to help veterans cope with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, she felt compelled to give back. This burning desire helped inspire her to create a project she calls “Art […]

    Read more

    Service Dog Community

    December 4, 2020

    No longer will emotional support animals be considered service animals. A service animal is defined only as “a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability.” That means “emotional support” peacocks, pigs and horses will no longer be able to fly. For Kelly […]

    Read more

    Health Wellness For Dogs

    December 4, 2020

    As humans, we’re increasingly taking care of our health and wellbeing in holistic ways – and now, it’s the same when it comes to our dog. Subsequently, a growing market of pet treatments, therapies and supplements are now available meaning our pampered pooches have never had it so good. “Dog owners consider their dogs as […]

    Read more

    Power Of Dogs

    December 4, 2020

    It’s been a difficult year for non-profit. Many rely on big gatherings and fundraisers to create the profit they need to keep the organization running. The same goes for Project 2 Heal, a Waxhaw non-profit, who works to raise puppies to become service animals. Project 2 Heal are believers in that a dig is a […]

    Read more

    Paws With A Cause

    December 4, 2020

     The Department of Transportation has ruled that airlines will no longer allow Emotional Support Animals on airplanes. Local assistance dog organization, Paws With A Cause, explains what this ruling means for them. Paws With A Cause, based in Wayland, custom-trains Assistance Dogs for people with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act defines an Assistance Dog […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dog Jax

    December 4, 2020

    After every home game, Chandler head football coach Rick Garretson meets his wife, Wendy, and his kids at the north end zone at Austin Field. It’s there he greets his family and takes the leash of his German shepherd, Jax, who is a certified therapy dog. The two then walk toward the team huddle where […]

    Read more

    Service Dog Training

    December 4, 2020

    Do you love dogs and want to do a bit of good for the world at the same time? Now’s your time to shine. Southeastern Guide Dogs a non-profit organization that trains dogs to assist veterans and those with disabilities, is looking for a few willing volunteers to raise puppies for 12-18 months. Here’s how […]

    Read more

    Raising Money For Service Dog

    December 4, 2020

    One Somerset family is expressing their gratitude for their local community, which has come together to help them make life better and safer for two of their children. Brothers Dylan, 13, and Chase, 12, are the sons of Jami Johnson. Both were diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum as toddlers. And while the family […]

    Read more

    Guide Dogs

    December 4, 2020

    A yellow Labrador retriever named Paul was born to be a Southeastern Guide Dogs superhero, but as fate would have it, that wasn’t to be. Barely out of puppyhood, the 30-month-old dog spent his formative months like every future guide dog, living for his first year or so with puppy raisers, and then heading back […]

    Read more

    Wavely The Therapy Dog

    December 4, 2020

    or students stressed about tough classes or feeling anxious during the COVID-19 pandemic, Tupelo High School’s new therapy dog in training – a goldendoodle named Wavely – will be there to help. Anne Marie Goad, a special education teacher and MET Chair at the high school, had the notion to get a therapy dog for […]

    Read more

    More Recent News