Jason Searls is a Marine Corps Veteran having served eight years with one deployment to Marjah, Afghanistan. Jason now works for the Federal Government in logistics. Due to his military service, he came home and began to experience symptoms of, and later diagnosed with, complex PTSD, depression, anxiety, and panic attacks.
Jason would struggle to go out of the house and into the public and would avoid it at all costs. he began seeking treatment and help for his family’s sake. After different therapy sessions, many different prescriptions (all of which caused negative side effects or were ineffective), Jason was asked by his doctor if he liked dogs. His doctor then gave him the contact information for Leashes of Valor.
Jason took the leap and filled out the application for a service dog at Leashes of Valor. Seven months later, Jason was given his last prescription, Hawkeye.
Service dog Hawkeye has replaced all other forms of treatment for Jason and outperforms any prescribed medication for him every day. With Hawkeye at his side, his forever friend calms Jason’s anxiety and fears, keeps him grounded in the present, and distracts him from the situations that would normally create a negative experience.
Because of Hawkeye, Jason can now rejoin his family as an active member. No more missing family events and irreplaceable memories. No more watching his kids sporting events from a distance to avoid people and crowds. No more hearing his kids ask his wife why daddy isn’t coming to an event. Hawkeye allows Jason to live again.
He was paired with Hawkeye, a highly-trained Labrador, in March 2020. In a year that was difficult for many people, Jason found himself getting out with Hawkeye to enjoy as many adventures as they safely could together. Hawkeye even gave him the confidence to join a disc golf club. With Hawkeye, he’s traveled to tournaments around the country.
“Before, I needed to get out of the house, but I didn’t want to talk to people. Now, I’m not anxious about the fact that when they divvy up the scorecards, I’m probably going to be playing with strangers. I’m fine with it. I still have days when I’m not feeling up to things. But Hawkeye needs to keep to his schedule. He needs to go out and be fed. He doesn’t want to be in the house. He’ll lay on me until I finally give in. We’ll go disc golf or take a walk. He does not enable me. I know he’s watching over me. I still have days when I’m not feeling up to things, when it’s easier to hide out in the basement if I don’t have to work. Hawkeye doesn’t let that happen.” – Jason Searls