Veteran Gets His Service Dog

September 21, 2020

It’s a companionship like no other. Many would probably describe it as unmatched loyalty, the bond between a dog and their human.

“Oh, he’s a gem, he’s the best, he really is, he’s got my back for sure,” United States Army Veteran John Daniels said. “He’s everything, he’s absolutely everything. I don’t even know how to find the right words, but he’s one of the most important things to me.

For many of us, getting a dog can be life changing, but for John Daniels, it was life-saving.

“I wouldn’t be here today if I wouldn’t have got him,” John said.

At 17-years-old, John enlisted in the United States Army and served until 2002.

“I broke my neck in the service, separated my right shoulder and I’m not always stable,” John said.

Coming home is something john admits was a struggle, often reliving the terror he endured again and again.

“That stuff invades your mind, it will show up when you least expect it,” John said. “It’s disruptive, disruptive to family to a job.”

Something John’s sister is fully aware of.

“When my brother came back, he tried so hard to just bounce back, but it doesn’t work that way,” John’s sister Susan Stella said. “When you have a flashback, a bad one, you can be doing anything it’s in your mind and it’s like your somewhere else.”

But then John got Ryker.

“If I’m having a hard time at night, he wakes me up and makes sure he’s right by my side,” John said.

When John finds himself in a tail spin, Ryker gives him structure.

“He lets people know to stay back, and that helped me start to mitigate in a public setting, because I wouldn’t go anywhere, I’d literally shut down,” John said.

He knows when john needs him.

“He came in at the best time, because it was a time in my life when I wanted to give up,

I didn’t see a brighter day in my future,” John said.

“My brother would not be here today if he had not gotten Ryker, I watched him fight for his life for 10 years, trying to get a grip on the damage done to the inside of his body from the chemical warfare,” Susan said.

“I can honestly say that he helped me through those dark days and he still does, and things for me definitely turned around since I’ve had him,” John said.

Now moving towards a goal of helping other veterans who may be struggling.

“A service dog is probably one of the best things a veteran could do for himself,” John said.

“None of them deserve to go through what I did. If I can make a difference by helping these veterans get dogs, that’s my new purpose and I’ll do everything I can.”

John told us about another veteran who needs help.

According to him, there is a dog named Liberty who is being trained and is ready to go to a local veteran, but they need money to make it happen, and it has to happen soon.

  • Most Recent News

    Students Get Therapy Dog

    January 8, 2021

    When middle school students return to class on Jan. 11, they’ll find a new face at the door: Daisy. Daisy is a therapy dog and the personal pet of Rob Kreger, principal of the Rock L. Butler Middle School. The five-year-old golden retriever is not a school pet or mascot, but rather a working dog […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dogtor

    January 8, 2021

    Last March, Caroline Benzel, a third-year medical student, began to notice the stress and discomfort her nurse friends were feeling from the pressures of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. “[Personal protective equipment] can be really rough on the skin,” Benzel, 31, tells PEOPLE. Benzel and her 3-year-old Rottweiler, Loki (who’s also a therapy dog) hatched a […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dog Pups

    January 8, 2021

    When Stanley the miniature fox terrier’s owner passed away, the little dog started a ‘paw-some’ new role – bringing puppy love to some of the Gold Coast’s oldest residents. After Carinity Cedarbrook Diversional Therapist Julianne Staff adopted Stanley, he began visiting the aged care community at Mudgeeraba as a therapy dog. Therapy dogs help to […]

    Read more

    Puppy Cams

    January 7, 2021

    A nonprofit is providing an unusual form of therapy for those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic – puppy cams! “You spend five minutes with a puppy and try not to smile,” said registered nurse Robin Lingg Lagrone. Lingg Lagrone says watching little furballs wag their tails and prance on their paws helps […]

    Read more

    Pet Committee

    January 7, 2021

    When Moore County’s school doors were abruptly closed earlier in 2020, two- and four-legged volunteers from the Moore County Citizens’ Pet Responsibility Committee (PRC) were in their 12th year of presenting a six-session Pet Responsibility Education Program for fourth-graders. The PRC quickly shifted gears and placed its program materials online as part of a home […]

    Read more

    The Right Rescue Dog

    January 7, 2021

    If your New Year’s resolution is to add a canine family member, good for you. Somewhere out there is the perfect puppy or adult dog for your family. You have a lot of things to think about when you begin to look for that new family member, puppy or dog? Large or small? Purebred or […]

    Read more

    Police Dog Attack

    January 7, 2021

    A resolution headed to the Duluth City Council on Monday could put to rest a lawsuit filed by Teri Lynn Ehlers, an employee of the Patch Motel, who was bitten by a Duluth police dog named Oakley. Former Duluth Police Officer Marc Johnson was a registered guest of the Warroad establishment May 28, 2018, when […]

    Read more

    PAWS With A Cause

    January 7, 2021

    Pebble Hill Plantation and the Thomas County Public Library are pleased to announce the upcoming Enlightening Bites program, “PAWS With a Cause,” on Friday, January 8, 2021 at noon in the Flipper Room of the Library. The program is being presented by Jeri Anderson, field representative. Anderson is recently retired from the City of Monticello, […]

    Read more

    Police Canine Team

    January 7, 2021

    Kingston Police revealed in a news release late Wednesday afternoon that they’ve been keeping a four-legged secret for roughly three months. The force announced it added a second canine unit, with the arrival of police service dog Dak this past October. He is working with Const. Jeff Dickson, while police service dog Bask is working […]

    Read more

    K9s For Warriors

    January 7, 2021

    K9s For Warriors, a nonprofit organization that provides military veterans suffering from severe PTSD, traumatic brain injury and military sexual trauma with service animals, recently changed the name of its main campus to honor its leader and founder Shari Duval. Duval began K9s For Warriors in 2011 after her son returned from two tours in […]

    Read more

    More Recent News