Dear Friends at The Patriot Fund,
We are incredibly grateful for The Patriot Fund’s generous support earlier this year. I’d like to share with you how your donation has been utilized, and express our deepest appreciation.
In the flyer below, you’ll see that your funding made it possible for Morgan Watt, Air Force Veteran, to receive the training needed to begin his partnership with his new service dog, Don. The team officially graduated earlier this month, and they are off to a great start!
Your gift also funded many months of training for Don, preparing him for the day that he met Morgan. Our certified instructors spent time teaching Don a variety of tasks and cues that help mitigate PTSD and other disabilities. And they work on these cues in many different environments to ensure the service dog will not be easily distracted, and will display excellent manners in public.
Don has been taught:
- Chin – The service dog will rest his or her chin on the handlers lap, to keep the handler focused in the present moment. (Instead of the trauma in the past, or the fear of the future.)
- Hug – A service dog will gently place his or her front paws on the lap of the handler. This grounding technique reduces anxiety as the dog puts gentle pressure on the handler.
- Close – The service dog is instructed to sit under the handler’s chair, in order to stay close, and avoid laying in an area where the dog could be a tripping hazard or be underfoot.
- Brace – The service dog can provide extra support when going from seated to standing, or on stairs for example.
- Retrieve – Service dogs can be trained to retrieve a dropped item, medication in a special container, or bring their leash to the handler.
- Impulse Control – Service dogs are taught to resist the temptation to take food from the floor, for their own health and safety.
Because of your generosity, we can teach our smart dogs to make smart decisions, and this is making a huge difference in the lives of the veterans we serve. I can tell you first hand, there is a butterfly effect that happens when the life of one Veteran is changed. It changes a family, a community, and beyond, all for the better.
Amber Watt (Sr. Associate Director, Philanthropy)
To learn more about Southeastern Guide Dogs, click the link HERE.